Own Your Prayers

July 5, 2016

 There are many wonderful things to say about the benefits of reading God’s Word

every day and making it a priority to understand what you read, and then trying to

apply it to your life. It’s called maturing. Actually, it’s called spiritual maturity.

And it’s worth the effort. And the interesting thing about this is that you never

fully mature. We all, no matter how long we’ve been believers and seekers, will

never fully know Him. Well, not on this side of the dirt, anyway. There’s a

beautiful quote that my dad introduced me to some time ago when I began my

journey through the Bible. I was nervous and insecure. Here it is:

 

 “The Scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink without

fear of drowning and deep enough for theologians to swim in without ever

touching the bottom.St. Jerome.

 

 Isn’t that something? All are welcome. Everyone’s safe and satisfied. And when

you come, there is always something new to learn and apply. Well, I had a big one

this past Spring. The Scripture appeared at the time of my personal need. Here’s

the verse: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians

6:2 And the law of Christ is simply this; love God and love one another. So

clearly, there’s an action associated with this love. And I needed action.

 

 I had been struggling with three major issues in my life and I had been struggling

with them………. alone. One day, a friend “just happened” into my store and

suggested I gather an army. That’s basically all she said. She said, “You need an

army.” And then proceeded to give me a Biblical illustration found in Genesis 14.

That night I opened my Bible to that particular passage and began to ask my

heavenly Father to show me, enlighten me. “What is it Lord? What do I need to

see?” And there it was. I needed an army of gals to pray for me and support me

on these three major issues. That same evening, I composed an email to seven

women. I call them “my fabulous seven”. I knew that if I presented my needs to

them, they would be faithful to pray me through them. The following morning as I

sat at gate 1A ready to depart for Houston, my phone began to alert me that emails

were loading in to my message center. And there they were. My fabulous seven

were stepping up to the plate and claiming ownership of my prayer requests. I

can’t begin to tell you the relief that was known to me at that very moment and yet

not one thing in my circumstance had changed. There was peace in the midst of my

storm. Read that sentence again, would you please? That’s right. My fabulous

seven owned their prayers and made it very clear to me that I was an active name

in their conversations with Christ. They let me know. They responded and

followed up and continue to do so to this day. Incidentally, all three issues are

behind me. History. A place I was. Not am. Yet my fabulous seven still surround

me. And how grateful I am for their support.

 

 Several days ago, I stopped by my favorite little neighborhood market. The

fellows behind the counter know me by name and know who I am, what I do and

where I go to church. They know I teach a women’s Bible study; they know I am a

Christian. On this particular day, I greeted my friend cheerfully and realized he

was a man in deep despair. He walked out from behind the counter on to the floor,

and came face to face with me and asked me to pray for him. I assured him that I

would. Now this is where everything comes into focus for me and maybe for you,

too. How many times do we say to people “I’ll be praying for you” and then leave

it at that? Oh, I can tell you! Too many times! Those five words float around the

Christian community with an air of smugness and indifference more often than I

care to acknowledge. Do we really pray for others? And if we do, do we own

those prayers and put feet to them like my fabulous seven have done and do for

me? Oh, I’ve been so convicted as I consider how often I have offered prayers for

others and not followed through to be for them what Christ would have me be.

Ephesians 5:1 says “Be imitators of God”. Philippians 1:27 “Let your manner of life

be worthy of the gospel of Christ”. Do I own the prayers? Am I ready to do more

with a prayer than just give my friend lip service one time?

 

 Here’s the deal. When I kneel before our Father I should be saying ‘Lord? I lift

my friend to you and what can I do for him to bring honor and glory to you?’

What can I do? That my Friends…. Is ownership. If so, consider my friend at my

favorite little neighborhood market. His circumstances may not change but

knowing that the power of almighty God is being prayed over him will bring sweet

relief that offers peace in the midst of his storm. “Bear one another’s burdens, and

so fulfill the law of Christ.” Indeed.

 

 

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    © 2016 by Diane Lowery