Last night I sat down to begin today’s post…in hopes that I could maybe just maybe *whispers* sleep in a bit. I was really excited at the chance to write and not have to set my alarm…but I was feeling a bit blank. =/ At my husband’s suggestion…I left at 9pm to be alone with my writing (and some coffee!) Seriously, his suggestion. He was watching Duck Dynasty and I kept getting distracted by it. My kids were in the living room watching a cartoon movie and ‘camping out’. I offered for Eric, my husband, to turn the TV off and support my writing with his silence (kind of like he does every morning when my alarm goes off. Ha-ha!…just sayin.) He laughed and said that I should go into town with my computer and get some coffee. I was gone faster than he could retract his suggestion. Lol!
I got myself allllll situated. I was in the very back of the restaurant where there were no customers. I got my computer plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi. Got me some coffee doctored up so it no longer resembles ‘actual’ ‘coffee’. And, wait, what is that? Bottom right of the picture above. Oh yeah…got me some heated wild berry pie…a-la-mode. Mmm…mmm…mmm! Okay…now it was time to write.
I started one post…and I just wasn’t feeling it. Started another…again it wasn’t flowing. A third. Same feeling. Ugh! I am trying to get ahead of the game. Finally I am alone with my thoughts and it is like an abandoned warehouse up there in the land of V. I’m slightly annoyed…but not too much because, after all, I am out having pie and coffee.
I suddenly had an urge to text a dear friend of mine. I had seen her over the summer and we connected on a deep spiritual level that we never had before. We cried together as we spoke about God’s goodness and our own weakness. I wanted to keep in touch, but I just hadn’t. I decided last night would be an excellent night to ‘randomly’ text her and ask how I could pray for her. Shortly after I pressed send, I got my response. “Who is this, and how did you know I needed prayer?” I laughed a bit and told her it was her favorite Vanesa in the whole world. She. was. still. clueless. Ouch! ;-) Lol! I was starting to wonder if she had given me the wrong number over the summer.
We finally got it all worked out…and she told me what she needed prayer for. You have an opportunity to pray for her as well. You may know her. You may not. God does not require you to know the who or what. He only requires prayers of faith. She is having testing this coming week and she is scared. The possible diagnosis is not at all a good one! She covets the prayers of the righteous. She needs prayers of those who love her without the promise of ever knowing who she is. I will pass on your love. I promise! =)
As I read her texts, I began to smile. There was a time in my life when I would have been devastated by her news. There was a time when I would have accepted defeat for her. There was a time when I would have hung my head in sorrow. But God. He has been preparing me over the first 32 years of my life. He has given me victory over everything that dared try to attack my body. Migraines that lasted 13-15 days out of a month…healed in Jesus name. Post partum depression that whispered the call of death…healed in Jesus name. A heart, bruised and broken, by the devastating loss of babies that I had already learned to love…healed in Jesus name!
My smile was not sinister. It was not cocky. It was not uncompassionate nor trying to minimize her situation. It was confident. I KNOW I serve a God that still heals. I’ve not only experienced it for myself…I’ve seen it. I’ve been one of the warriors praying for healing in someone else. I know that we have access to the power of the immeasurably more that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 3:20. I know the One who said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
Those words are from the lips of Jesus Himself. They are not cocky. They exude confidence in His Father. They don’t leave room for exceptions. They ask us to believe that He is speaking truth. To have faith in His truth. And to ask anything in His name. Any. Thing. I’m not putting expectations on Jesus that He didn’t already speak forth. I’m just choosing to put my faith in those words. In those verses above it does not say ‘may do’, ‘might do’, or ‘we’ll see’…which I’m told always means no without saying no. Ha-ha! I take it as literal. Will do means will do. Ask me for anything…means do just that. Even greater things than these…can be a dreamer’s dream or an exciting reality. Choose what you believe. Don’t let your head choose. Let your heart choose. If Christ resides there…He will trump your thoughts any day!
Have you ever been afraid to pray? Have you ever thought your attempt wasn’t good enough? Have you ever known that God was asking you to pray…and yet your anxiety about not sounding ‘holy’ enough kept you silent? Yep…me too! I used to live like that. I used to be ashamed of how pathetic I sounded. So what happened? How did I conquer my fear of ridicule?
Practice. Some of my most powerful time spent in prayer and worship is done while I’m driving alone in my vehicle. I talk/sing loud and proud. I even scream if I have to. Whatever. it. takes. to get my head out of the way, of speaking from my heart to God’s. I want sincerity to be evident. I want passion to be visible. I want truth to cover any lies I’ve been believing.
Another way I conquered my fear. I faced it. I stared it down. I told the enemy that he was no longer invited to my intimate time with my King. I scream prayed him right out of my vehicle. I took back the reigns that I had allowed the enemy to steer for a short time. They belong in the capable hands of Christ…not in the wicked scheme of the enemy. Prayer was to become a huge part of who I am in Christ! God knew I needed to know how to fight like a daughter of the King. Gloves are on…and my target is slithery and sneaky. I will not be silenced any more!
My middle son, Titus, has been struggling with prayer lately. He is shy when asked to pray. He thinks it is more difficult than it is. I fail some days to encourage him gently…because I just want him to try. I get upset that he can’t think of anything to thank or ask God for. He just resorts to tears. I’m learning how to handle his fragile faith. I want it to explode with confidence. I want him to know the faith he is called to have as a child. I would love for you to pray for him too!!!! (And pray for my friend Sandy while you are at it!)
I remind Titus often that prayer is simply…us talking to God. It is not fancy. God does not require extravagance. He is unimpressed with religious words. He is Creator. You can not beat that power or impressiveness. Stop trying. Look at how He created each living thing. Unique and yet requiring the same simple, basic needs. Nourishment, air, water, sun. You replicate that…and then you can strive to fancy up your prayers. Until then…just talk. Thank. Praise. Request. Worship.
If you are scared to pray in front of others, please read carefully. This is a scheme of the enemy to try to render you powerless. To keep you silent as the powers of darkness war for you and those you love. When you pray…you access the power of God in your life. You stand in the gap for your friends and family. You willingly put yourself on the front line in the fight. It leaves you feeling fulfilled and useful. It leaves you feeling empowered and thankful. It is yours for the taking. God wants to hear from you all day long. He loves your voice. He wants to hear your heart in words. He knows them…but do you? Do you know how loved you are? Do you know how feisty you can get? Do you know what lies you’ve accepted as truth?
Speak up. Your time is now. If God brought you someone, today, who was lost and searching for truth…would you pray them into eternity? Could you? You have the tools. You have always had them. The Bible, Jesus in your heart, a voice, and a brain. Use them wisely. Just use them. That person who is in front of you. That person who is lost and facing forever torment. They could care less how fancy you sound. They just want to find someone who loves what they say they love. Who lives what they claim. And who looks for opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Practice. You will gain confidence with practice. And when you see the hand of God move in your life, or the life of someone you have prayed for, that practice will. bring. confidence. It will bring praise. It will bring joy and laughter. It will bring peace. It will bring thankfulness. It will bring passion to do it as often as you get the chance. I’m praying for your success, my friend. I have confidence that God will supply you with exactly what you need…and then immeasurably more than you can imagine!
Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.