Posted by: bellissimanh | September 13, 2007

The Power of Prayer

I was reading Blackaby’s devotional today, and it so closely related with my life this week that I could hardly believe it. Don’t you just love it when God speaks so clearly that there’s no mistaking it? 

Here is a line from the devo…

“Prayer aligns your life with God so that He chooses to demonstrate His power through you. The purpose of prayer is not to convince God to change your circumstances, but to prepare you to be involved in His activity.”

The Lord gave me an incredible example of this principle (God using prayer as a means to prepare us to be involved in His activity) this week. A few weeks ago I began to be more specific in my prayers for my coworkers. Some of them had told me they would come to a Praise in the Park gathering we had, and my prayer was that they would see me worshipping and realize that my relationship with God is alive and special. I wanted them to recognize that this wasn’t just some generic brand of religion, but that my relationship with Christ really is what is most important in my life, and something that I I could never live without. That’s one of the reasons I chose to sing “Everything to Me”, by Avalon.  True to their word, several of my coworkers came to the park that night. I was thrilled! They seemed to have a good time, and had nothing but good things to say.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been praying that they would see something in me and know that it was different… that they would see what I have in Christ and crave that. My hope was that they would recognize that something is missing from their lives… and that God would create in them a longing to fill that empty space.

Yesterday, I got to work and set my stuff down. I don’t think my computer had even booted up yet when one of the women came to my desk. She smiled and said, “I need you to tell me how you stay so… uplifted.” And then tears filled her eyes. “You’re always so… you know… it’s something I don’t have.. and I want it.” She reached down and hugged me while she tried to pull herself together. She asked, “Is it your faith? Your church family? I’m a spiritual person, but it’s not like you. I want THAT.”

I told her that it helps being married to Joel (she chuckled) but then said that seriously, I get up every morning while the house is still quiet and spend time reading God’s Word and talking with Him. I told her about my devotional guide that has Scripture, a short story or something, and a thought for the day to focus on, and how it helps me to keep things in perspective through the day.

She said, “I’m a spiritual person, but it’s not like what you have. I need you to show me how to get there.”  I told her about our Wednesday night dinner and study, and invited her to come. She had plans last night, but said she might do that next week. Please pray with me that she does!

I thank God He gives us second chances. I wish I could tell you that I stood up and boldly yesterday proclaimed.. “It’s JESUS!! It’s all about Jesus!” In retrospect, I so wish I had. Instead I just invited her to the study.  Getting up to come to our church on Sunday mornings is hard for her. She lives about thirty miles away, and after driving to North Conway every day through the week, doing it on Sunday is just not easy. Please pray with me that she’ll come to the Wed. night thing (she could come straight from work, have dinner, then be home by 8pm), and that what she finds in the study and the wonderful people of our church will motivate her to attend on Sundays too, as difficult as it is. Pray that Satan would remove any obstacles to her hearing about Jesus and His salvation… whether the obstacle is the long drive, invitations to do other things, or even my own human hesitations and shortcomings. Pray that as I sit down to write her a letter today, more clearly spelling out that Jesus is the key to all of it, the Lord would give me exactly the words she needs to hear. He is already preparing her heart to receive them. I’m confident of that.

I was praying this morning and telling God how inadequate I feel… how worried I am that somehow I’ll screw this up and just confuse her, say something I shouldn’t or not say something I should… and He reminded me that He would give me the words. That the gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation and that He will have His way with my friend, and I need to trust that He will do the work, if I’ll just get out of the way and obey.

And then I sat down and read this morning’s devotion from Henry. “Prayer aligns your life with God so that He chooses to demonstrate His power through you. The purpose of prayer is not to convince God to change your circumstances but to prepare you to be involved in God’s activity.”

*tears* What a loving Father… that He would send this devotion to me this morning. It’s like He’s shining a light on my prayers of the past month and saying, just as Jesus did to Martha, “See? Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

I am so in love with and in awe of Him right now. I am so thankful that He sees fit to use me, in spite of me. And I’m convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that it’s not going to be me writing that letter… it’s going to be Him. And I am abundantly relieved and grateful.

So please pray for my friend… and for me. And thank you for taking the time to read through my “book” this morning!

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Responses

  1. Wow — what a great post!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Love your blog and linking to you from mine right that minute!!

    Blessings,
    Dori

  2. These two are awesome devotionals. I am praying for your letter and for your friend.

    You know, I used to think prayer was only to prepare and change me, but then I started reading some Bible stories where it seemed God was waiting for their prayers in order to change their circumstances. Sometimes, I think it’s about both!

    He says, “you have not, because you ask not”.

    Interesting to turn in your mind, for sure!

  3. Dori, thanks for the link!

    Maggie, thanks for the prayers. I emailed a letter this morning. I pray that with every word she will feel God’s love, and mine. I think you’re right about prayer… that God sometimes waits for our prayers to act on our behalf. What a mystery, though!

  4. I will be praying for your friend. It’s so wonderful to see how God is working in your life. So many good things you touched on – that Jesus IS your life, not just a part of it, that prayer gets you ready to be a part of God’s plan for the day… It was all very encouraging!

    That time in the morning is so precious with the Lord. I am encouraged that you get up and do that. I have been wanting to do that for over a year now. It’s been hard with a nursing baby who still nurses during the night. I am praying she will sleep through so I can get up before the children and have my time with the Lord then…

    Anyways, great post!

  5. Thanks, Gina! How old is the baby? I’ll be praying that she’ll start sleeping straight through soon! I really haven’t been consistent in that early morning time over the course of my life… the past few months have been really good, but it seems to come and go in spurts (my commitment). I think like most of us, my devotion cycles. My prayer is to be much more consistent in the months to come.

    I posted on someone else’s blog today that I used to really struggle with this. It was so hard to get up before everyone else… and yet with the kids around, I felt like they were always interrupting my “quiet time” and I resented it. I would think to myself, “How inconsiderate they are! Can’t they see this is my time alone with God?” God showed me that He’s the One that called me to minister to my family, and that what I considered to be interruptions might well be divine appointments. I looked at their interruptions a bit differently after that. 🙂

    I’ll be praying that God provides just the right time for you, whether it’s early morning, or during naptime, or maybe just after they go to bed. I think it’s different for all of us. God bless you, sister!

  6. I love your heart!
    What an awesome post, thank you, it challenges me.

    Sue

  7. […] been, “Lord, let them see Jesus in me… and WANT Him.” A few weeks ago, the Lord answered my prayer and I was able to share the good news with a dear friend. Yes… for such a time as […]

  8. I love God. He has influenced everything in my life. He watches out for me, and my family. He cares for me, and gives me so many things I dont deserve.
    I am so thankful to have him in my life, and I know no matter where I go or what I do, he will always be there right beside me, holding my hand every step of the way.


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