Today is my 25th post! This means that TOGETHER we have been committed to praying for our children for 5 weeks now. I have been utterly amazed at how God is working through this blog in my life. He has grown in me a deep passion to pray, pray, pray for the three little blessings He so graciously has placed in my care on this earth. In addition, He has sifted and refined me personally. Nearly every post found its root in lessons the Lord has been teaching me.
I pray that you have been personally encouraged in your own lives. I pray that He has grown the same passion in You to pray, pray, pray for your children. I wish I knew for sure but I trust that if God is doing great things in my life then He is certainly doing some of those same great things in yours.
Please know that I am thankful for you. So very thankful.
With that said, today's post is ironically about PRAYER. And it is kind-of long...so hopefully you are able to get through it.
Growing up my mom used to do something in very public places that I found rather embarassing and awkward. We could be in the grocery store, the post office, or a retail store and she would do it. I never knew ahead of time when it would happen, but I knew there was always a chance. My brother and sister and I still joke about it for we ALL remember it happening and we ALL remember feeling embarassed.
Here is the something: She would LIVE pray for people.
Yes, that's right. If she felt led by Jesus, she would ask the Post Office worker if she could pray for him/her right then and there.
She would hold up the line at the grocery store praying for the cashier.
She would pray for people she stood in line with. She would pray for people she bumped into while shopping.
It did not matter who it was and frankly where it was...if she got to talking to someone and they shared a trouble in their life (even a small one), she would ask them if she could pray for them and if they agreed she would LIVE pray right then and there.
You must understand that as a kid and teenager I found this extremely embarassing.
People would stare at us.
I never saw other people doing it.
It felt odd and silly.
Yet, I recall that nearly 95% of the time when she was finished LIVE praying, those receiving the prayer appeared encouraged and were thankful to her.
Some cried. Some asked questions afterward. Some simply said, "Thank You."
I cannot remember a single time when a person said no to her or became angry with her. Her compassion and kindess trumped any fear or doubt they may have had. I can only imagine how God worked in these individuals lives after she boldly followed His prompting to pray.
When we are going through a trial, large or small, it is very encouraging to hear from others that they are praying for us.
However, as I've grown in my relationship with Jesus I have begun to understand how at certain times it is important to pray face to face with them, in the flesh, LIVE!
Face to face prayer ignites real, raw emotions...His Spirit moves and shows up in very powerful ways. LIVE prayer shows love and compassion and can spark desire for God.
Please do not misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with praying for someone during your own personal quiet time, this is a great thing as well. The point I am making is that sometimes God calls us to do it LIVE!
I know this now because I've become, like my mom, a little odd in public. And it is not just in public with perfect strangers, but also in private or familiar places with dear friends and family. If I feel the Lord's prompting to pray for someone, I try to be obedient and do it right then and there, LIVE with no pre-recording. I've seen Him use face to face prayer in so many peoples lives, as well as in my own.
This post is inspired by an experience I had last night. I decided to bravely venture out and go to a women's conference at church. For those of you who read my post a few days ago, you are aware that my face is rather disgusting to look at right now and, because of the pain I am in, I am unable to cover it up with make-up. And if I may be frank, the break-outs are worse and are very unpleasant to look at due to a gross white substance, of which I will not name, that can be seen all over my face. I think you get the picture.
Anyway, I went and endured the stares and pity because I wanted some LIVE, face to face prayer from a few women friends of mine that I respect and dearly love.
I received that LIVE prayer and it brought me great encouragement as well as godly insight into my situation. I laid awake in bed last night for nearly an hour recalling the words they prayed and allowing God to tenderly love and teach me through them. That face to face prayer ignited raw emotions and God moved in my heart so very powerfully!
Colossians 4:2,6 encourages me to LIVE pray for others.
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful...Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
If we are devoted to prayer we are watchful and look for opportunities.
If we are to be wise in how we act with others and to make the most of our opportunities with them, what better action than LIVE pray for them.
If our conversations are to be full of grace and wholesome talk there is simply no better avenue to take than a LIVE conversation of prayer.
And finally, if we do not know what to say to someone then why not just humbly come to God and LIVE pray with them.
When it comes to my children I want them to see examples of LIVE prayer. I want them to experience LIVE prayer from me, as well as others. I want them to have boldness to listen to God's prompting and LIVE pray for their friends, as well as, perfect strangers. Why? Because I know that God will move and do great things!
Join me as I pray the following today:
Jesus, may my children be devoted to prayer. May they see the value of LIVE prayer. May their hearts be open to your prompting and watchful for opportunity to pray for others in everyday conversations. And may these LIVE prayers be full of wisdom and grace.