Michelle is my older sister, best friend, and has been my mentor for raising children to know Jesus. She is also a prayer warrior. I have always relied on her faithful prayers for me and my whole family. Her words of wisdom on prayer are so true. I know many of us get overwhelmed and can struggle in this area of our walk, but it is the most important thing we have as believers. Thank You Michelle for praying fervently for others!
Devoted to Prayer
I was going to write about my journey of raising our five children over the past twenty seven years. As a matter of fact I had finished writing it, but this morning I believe the Holy Spirit is telling me to write about prayer. So I am going to share with you what God has been doing in our life through prayer.
I did not become a Christian until I was twenty nine. Once I became a Christian the Holy Spirit gave me a longing for studying God's word with a deeper understanding of WHY and most importantly HOW he has planned the rescue of ALL families who choose to follow him . His Word speaks to my soul; it is truth to my spirit.
I had spent my life listening to the world and had become very unsatisfied with all I was hearing. But God's word satisfied my spirit like nothing ever before, as Hebrews 4:12 says: "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Up to this point in life I had hardly finished a book. To say I didn't have a passion for reading was an understatement. Now me? A love of reading? This was definitely a "God thing" , because before becoming a Christian I never read a book...none....nada! Over the years now I have read many (again God thing!) books with quite a few of the subjects having been about prayer.
As a result I have felt moved to pursue prayer in a deeper and more meaningful way. More often than not, I let the business of this life and the cares of this world get in the way. Of course I prayed for my children and my family as well as for others when they would ask, but I would go for long periods without prayer and with NO passion or consistency for those outside of my inner circle. Along the way I learned the reason for this lack of discipline in my prayer life. I am a sinner in a fallen world and it doesn't come naturally for me to pray. I struggle in a BIG way! But through studying about prayer I learned it's natural to struggle. The christian life is a struggle and as a matter of fact scripture says:" in this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world" John 16:33.
The past few years have been quite a struggle financially and one of our Children went through a very painful divorce but like all our struggles God used this that we might not rely on ourselves but trust in the one who created us. So I am thankful for my momentary troubles IF they make me more like Jesus, The body of Christ should look different than the secular world but sadly most of us don't! I believe one of the biggest problems in my life is lack of prayer. I have felt the need to respond to his call for me to be different, to stop settling for the status quo!
God's word talks about prayer in the KJV over 500 times so there is much to say about this subject. Proverbs 15:8 says:" the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayers of the upright are pleasing to him." My desire is to please my Savior. In 2 cor 1:3-9 Paul talks about comforting us in all our troubles through the prayers of many and about delivering us from our suffering through the prayers of many. I have always loved this scripture and been so encouraged by it. Ephesians 6:17-18 says: "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." 1Thes5:17 says:" pray without ceasing", Eph 6:19 says:" pray at all times", Romans 12:12 says: "rejoice in hope, persevering in tribulations, devoted in prayer." These are just skimming the surface of all the rich and wonderful instruction of prayer in Gods word!
So Scott and I decided to talk to a wonderful man of prayer Marshall Chambers whom we had known for many years. We were helping some friends move and Marshall was there so I told him what God had laid on our heart. We felt God leading us to start a prayer group in hopes of becoming more devoted to prayer both personally and corporately within a body of like minded believers. Marshall replied; he had just started one in hopes of getting more people involved with prayer. How personal is our God? It was an immediate answer to prayer! We did join their group and its been truly life changing for us both.
God has been so working on my heart, breaking it and making it tender for the needs and people I am praying for. We are praying for the lost and the sick and families being torn apart, young people being led astray by sin and the world, so many suffering people! We are praying for our pastors and Bible teachers in our church, for the truth of God's word to be proclaimed with boldness and accuracy. We are praying for the Holy Spirit to bring revival in our church and our country. We are praying for missionaries and church plants all over the world. The list gets bigger everyday and the needs are infinite.
And you know what else has been happening? I'm hearing what God is saying to me about my sinfulness, my pride, my untrusting spirit, my looking for the world to satisfy me and my needs when I should be trusting the sovereign hand of God and his will for my and my family's life. He's breaking my heart over my sin, but also the sin that hurts so many others, the sin that separates us from God and destroys families and destroys lives! God's telling me to pursue holiness (got a long ways to go!) and giving me the desire to do it more than ever before. He's showing me that we live in a society that pursues happiness with a vengeance, but you know what? The only people who will ever be truly happy are those who are holy (set apart for God's use), because holiness makes us happy, and NOTHING else!
We recently took a long road trip to see our son, Christian who's away at college and Scott and I were able to pray together for a couple of hours on the way up there and again on the way home and you know what? It was one of the sweetest times I have ever spent with my husband and it was so good for us and our relationship! I long for more of that with Scott and my Lord. Think about it , prayer is our communication with God. We know about God through the scriptures, but we know intimacy with God by spending time with him through prayer. The essence of prayer is the expression of our dependence on God through requests. And its not just his will that we ask him for things, its his delight, how amazing is that! I want to be devoted to prayer, its what God tells the church to do and I believe with all my heart that if we were obedient to that call it would change the world! It sure is changing me!