Prayer is my jam.
I'm a huge believer in the power of prayer.
This statement comes as no real surprise! I have written several times around here about my love of and call to prayer... of how it was never meant to be a monologue or a long (dry) list of needs/requests, a memorized petition or an emergency-only/dire need desperate crying out.
Oh - we have all practiced that kind of prayer.
Every. one. of. us!
And yet, we know... our God is a personal, intimate God who - yes, knows all of our thoughts and needs ahead of time - but still longs to commune and converse with us.
Our God loves a great big celebration but He is the Lover of our Souls and He pursues us with reckless abandon, desiring an intimate relationship with just us, too! He loves the gathering of many, but His heart is after some one-on-one time to simply be with us --in good times, and in hard times... at all times, He is with us and in us, sticking closer than a brother. He calls us friend... lover... bride. He calls us His own. He has done all the work and we reap the benefits of getting to boldly turn our hearts and thoughts toward Him and whether we cry out or whisper His name... always, He comes. We have the honor of getting to spend time with Him.
I remember early on, as a new(ish) Christian and a new Mama, when He would call to me to pray... to get up and sit with Him in the dark of those midnight hours and my exhausted Mama heart would want to put Him off... to turn over in my bed, ignore His promptings and just fall back asleep. And He would let me. He lets me still, however I have never regretted getting up but I hate those missed opportunities when I choose warmth and rest, instead of conversation and falling asleep in His arms. Still - there is always Grace and His arms are always around me, pulling me closer.
I remember the call to pray, to intercede, to stand in the gap, to hold up arms and hearts and plans, to boldly storm the gates of heaven and approach the throne of grace --for myself, yes - but for others as well...
I remember that it is a joy and an honor to carry each other.
Tweet: I remember the call... to boldly storm the gates of heaven & approach the throne of grace... that it's a joy & an honor to carry each other.
It has been through prayer, that I have drawn closer to His heart; that I've heard Him weep and laugh and love. It has been through prayer that I have felt a tiny measure of what moves Him and that brings me to my knees, if not literally at least in spirit.
Bowed down and humbled to have the freedom to sit with Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Father God and talk about what is heavy on my heart. I recall the first time that God assured me that if it concerns me, then it concerns Him. If it weighs on my heart, it weighs on His, too.
Prayer is a thing y'all... and it's a thing that works! Not because there is a formula that I have tapped into and not because I always get what I want... but because it is through prayer that I most clearly see the hand of God at work in my life in a tangible, marked way.
I have long been a journal-er and a pray-er. I have stacks and stacks of notebooks piled high like stones built up as memorial that testify of answered prayers and miracles and times God has come through - both with the answer I desired, and sometimes with the one I dreaded most. Yet in every circumstance, He came through.
When you add in social media and how we are all connected, we are seeing firsthand how prayer and joining together really can bring hope, bring help, bring freedom and answered prayers...
We know it but we so often forget.
We turn over... we fall back asleep.
But the truth remains that He is willing and wanting to hear us speak. He will wait, and sometimes, when necessary - He will gently wake us up.
One of the blessings of being Family... of being in a Body of believers who are spread out all over the world, and yet connected is when we need prayer, when we want solidarity and some power of agreement warriors to stand with us - it simply takes a status update.
So we got a text from our
Nearly All Grown Up Girlie on Saturday morning, simply stating that she was driving herself to a medi-center because she couldn't really swallow and her fever would not break. We didn't even know she was sick. (She has been battling one sickness or another for some time now... just little things - but never fully recovering for long before another battle breaks out. To be honest, we are praying for her to find a new job because we believe it is somehow related.)
Due to some previous issues, we suggested that we take her to the ER instead, in case she needed a shot or an IV. She said she would handle it and let us know what the doctors said.
Yeah. Good luck with keeping us away!
Sure - you're all grown up but you do not need to do this alone. (Oh that independent spirit? It's good... until it's not, am I right? Can anyone else relate? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)
So, as My Honey headed out to the hospital to meet her, I just put this out there in facebook land:
Pray for our girlie... on her way to the ER yet again... feels like a repeat: Swollen/Sore throat, can't swallow, can't talk, ears hurt, achy, high fever... When our tough girl is near tears, you know it's bad.
Immediately - and I do mean immediately - the comments/prayers came flooding in... prayers for healing, prayers of agreement, prayers for wisdom and quick treatment and favor. Prayers that reminded me not only of the power of prayer but of the power of family... of faith activated and rising up... of the Body, I don't know, BEING the Body!
The good news is it was a quick ER trip. On a Saturday morning - the waiting room was empty and they got her right in, took one look in her throat and said "Strep". Yeah. No fun... but treatable.
My Honey and Girlie were at the hospital for maybe ten minutes when our Pastor showed up to pray. Seriously... in the flesh, ready to lay hands on her and pray. (He saw the above status update on facebook and lives - oh - about 10 minutes away!) She got the diagnosis, the Rx, and came 'home' to crash with us.
I updated my facebook page with this:
"That moment when your nest is not so empty for a little bit and there's nothing really you can do but love and pray... Which is really all you can ever do anyway! #sick #girlie #resting #behealed #inJesusName #bestillmyheart"
This is the Big #SmallWonder of Prayer... of Family... of Faith Arising.
This is the reminder that we are not in this alone... and while we may be All Grown Up and Able to do things on our own... we are meant for community and just because we CAN, doesn't always mean that we HAVE TO!
We are One Body... One Church... One Lord... and oh how there is power (often - untapped power) in praying in agreement.
Our girlie could have handled it on her own. She could have gotten herself to the ER, sat in the waiting room and the exam room all alone, gotten the diagnosis and filled her prescription (maybe) and gone home to her own bed to sleep.
That was sort of her plan... but what I've learned is oh how we all would have missed out on the blessings of seeing God move, of loving each other well, of speaking life and being love and shining Jesus into a bit of darkness... of being family, together.
So thank you to all who prayed... to all who pray!
We are one. We are for each other and with each other and not a one of us needs to face things alone!
Aren't you glad?
P.S. I'm linking up with these lovely writers:
The Community over at #SmallWonders
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday