Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: praying for each other

Praying for You

Prayer has always been an important part of my life as a believer. I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a prayer warrior. And I’m probably not going to be the one who stops to pray with you in the middle of Wal-mart when we run into each other, unless you ask. Then I will. Otherwise, I’ll take your concern home with me and include it in my daily times of prayer. But despite these shortcomings in my praying, I know how vital prayer can be in our lives.

I’ve seen God work through prayer time and again in my own life and the lives of those around me. I’ve seen God change circumstances. I’ve seen God heal. I’ve seen God provide, lead, and strengthen through prayer. More often than not, I’ve experienced God changing my heart and mind about things through prayer. I’ve drawn close to Him through worshipful prayer. I’ve cried to Him in my darkest times. I’ve surrendered my dreams, my desires for my family, and my will to His many times through prayer. Prayer is powerful.

Prayer is also a gift. It’s our way to come to our heavenly Father with the good, the bad, and the ugly and watch what He does with it. And it’s a gift we’re meant to share with others. Scripture tells us to bear one another’s burdens and to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. One of the best ways we can do this is by taking one another to God in prayer. Consider how often Paul spoke of keeping fellow believers in prayer. It was important then, and it is important now.

Prayer isn’t like wishing on a star or rubbing the genie’s lamp. We don’t throw out everything we want and sit back and watch it fall from the sky. God’s hears and answers the prayers of those who follow Him. Scripture promises that. What it doesn’t promise is that our prayers will be answered exactly how we think it should be done. It says if we ask anything according to His will God hears us. That’s probably the hardest part of prayer. Telling God what our very human selves want out of a situation but accepting the attitude of “not my will but Yours be done” in our hearts. Those are some of the times when God’s answer might be a change of heart instead of a change of circumstance.

Another time we might require an attitude check is when God’s plan takes time. My mother and I have met daily for almost a year for prayer together. There was a family situation that came up that drove us to our knees. There was nothing we could do to change it, and the throne of God was the best place for it anyway. Like I said, it’s been almost a year. We’ve seen God moving in the situation through that time, but we’ve only recently seen more substantial change in what’s happening. We continue to pray trusting it to work out God’s will, God’s way. We’ve grown a lot through the year. So has our list of people and situations to pray for. Even when this situation is fully resolved, we will continue praying for the needs of our friends and family and praising God for what He has done, is doing, and will do in the future.

As a writer of faith, I covet your prayers for my writing ministry. I desire to do only what God would have me do in the way He would have me do it. But I also want to encourage and lift up my readers, both of my blog and my books. To do so, I’m going to ask for prayer requests during the last week of each month. I will use whatever prayer requests and praises you pass on in my prayer times during the next month. I will start with the month of August. You can put your requests and praises in the comments, or you can message me with them anytime. I look forward to praying for you!

My People

Calendar Board with Business Cards.jpgWe were created for community. We were created for relationships and interaction. It seems strange to say that as a card-carrying introvert. More than many, I value my time alone. I use time without the pressures of social interaction to recharge my batteries. But as much as I need my quiet time, I cannot deny the need to connect with people on a personal level.

My love language (and if you’ve not read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you really should) is quality time. Sitting in front of the television together doesn’t count. I need to really connect with those I love, and that same principle carries over into my friendships. I’m happiest in social interactions when I can share something I love with others. And I don’t think I’m that different from everyone else.

As believers, God has given us the church to fill this need. Scriptures throughout the New Testament reinforce the idea that believers need each other. In Acts, the first church sold their worldly possessions to join resources with the other believers. They relied on each other for everything. In Romans, Ephesians, and Corinthians we’re told that believers are all one body made up of many parts working together for the good of everyone and the glory of God. And Hebrews tells us not to avoid coming together in worship and support of each other. We are supposed to “rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep”. (Romans 12:15).

First and foremost, I am a believer. However, it goes beyond that. I said the body is made of many members. Some of us are teachers through writing. Whether non-fiction or fiction, there is a message God has placed in our hearts to share with others. It doesn’t matter if the message is one of challenge, correction, or encouragement. It’s a message God has entrusted with us to share with other believers in a way we are passionate about. He has given us the ministry of writing to come alongside others in their journey of faith. These Christian writers are my people.

I had the opportunity to spend last week with my people, and I have never felt more at home. I wish it could’ve continued indefinitely. There were over 500 people who understood my struggles, my hopes, and my successes. They’ve faced the same frustrations and celebrated the same accomplishments. We worshiped together, learned together, and shared fellowship all week. It was an amazing time, and I don’t want to forget it.

More than the experience, I don’t want to forget the connections. God put each person I came in contact with at the conference in my life for a reason. We do understand each other, and with that shared understanding comes a responsibility. It is the same responsibility I have to the believers in my life at home. It is the call to share in each other’s successes and sorrows. It is the call to lift each one up in prayer.

I left the conference with several business cards. A lot of them have pictures on them, and, as an introvert who isn’t given to remembering names, I’m thankful for that. I’ve tacked several to the calendar boards in my office. I want to keep them handy for business needs, but it is more than that. I want to keep them in front of myself daily. I want the gentle reminder to pray for these people who have the same faith I do and the passion for sharing it through the written word. These are my people, and I need to remember to lift them up to God just as I hope they are doing for me.

By the Book: Think about the body of believers God has placed in your life. What similarities knit you together? What can you do to remind yourself to pray for them each day?

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