Early this morning—before sleep had completely vanished—still in that state of semi-awareness of rest—and God’s blessings, some of the events of the week replayed through my mind.
Prayer was the focus of these thoughts.
I’ve thought about it for weeks—of how we need to pray about everything…as we give thanks in all things–
We’ve come upon some hard things in life—where you think—“how do I give thanks for this?” It’s too hard…
God has a way of showing us—in the quiet of our heart—as we rest before Him in waiting patience for His direction of things.
I’ve noticed—irritations of life will keep us from praying.
It will keep us from purposeful prayer. Maybe we whisper something…mutter something in prayer—but purposeful prayer is usually not evidenced during time of irritation. Whether the irritations are with people, weather, circumstances, or especially in the sharp focus of the reality of ourselves—and our personalities—we pause—but do not quite completely halt our agenda long enough to give every detail of the issue(s) to Jesus.
I found this out from experience….my own.
These new Christians will learn how to pray. From experiences and examples. Just as you teach your own children—they will learn from their church family.
Circumstances in life will also teach them to pray. The effective prayer is a fervent prayer—and it will accomplish much.
New converts need to be prayed for and with. They need discipling. The seeds that have been planted will need watering. The church there in Bolivia have many who can teach and lead them to continue to grow in Christ on this new journey toward Home.
Even as an older Christian—I still need constant time in prayer—Bible study—and devotion.
Remember—the irritations of life and the difficult circumstances will draw many individuals attention away from the real effort that should be going on—prayer. At.all.times. Even more so as the days grow closer to the coming of Christ Jesus.
As I watched this week the children and youth be lead in prayer—taught to pray—tears came easy—as I thought of these new convert’s conversations with God.
I remember conversations with God for the purpose of our children. How we needed to keep things simple—so they would learn to pray as they could understand at their young age…so too for these.
On the last night in Bolivia, I woke up praying. This has happened before—but not quite like this. I was weeping hard enough to shake the bed.
I had dreamed of a spiritual battle—one that caused me to feel the anguish of the hour. I was in a house praying loudly—the enemy was attacking—I could even feel the pressure and the presence—I remember waking up pleading the blood of Jesus over every situation that was possibly going on. I don’t know if I woke Jeff—but I woke myself. I was shaking when I left the bed to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t sure what was going on—but I needed to pray more—and he needed to rest.
I’m not sure how long this went on—but this I know—as strong as the anguished attack came on me—the peace of God followed in a flood.
I remembered just now, when in Cambodia—something similar happening.
This morning, when I woke and the “prayers” were on my mind—I realized that the irritations that may have been felt by some—through various circumstances—took my mind—and possibly their mind off of “praying constantly” for the needs surrounding us. We were in a foreign land—but God was not.
We were unable to communicate well with the people—but God was not.
We were occupied with the present…but God was not.
God was working on the future. The future of the church there….and the future of each individual that came.
The future of both depends on prayer. They will grow by prayer. We will too. But that is the VERY weapon the devil does not want us to use. So he sends irritations and hindrances, and mind blowing circumstances to thwart our prayers—to cause us to doubt God’s goodness in all things.
If we stop praying FERVENTLY in tough situations—the enemy gains strength over us and in our lives. The only way to stop him is with the Word of God—and prayer. We can “talk about praying”…but it is the action that brings the results.
Please pray for these children. There are lives that have a heavenly destination as a result of them being led by the Holy Spirit to give their lives to Christ this week—but they will need prayer to stay the course.
As we draw nearer to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 3)—we must be more steadfast than ever before.
They will be tempted and tried—as will we—to forget this trip. To forget the decisions made. To forget what God has brought about…pray that it is seed that remains and grows strong…until the coming of the LORD.
I’m closing this blog post for today—I know you are tired of reading—But I wanted to share one last thing. When we were returning last night—several wanted to eat at the Cuban restaurant that we ate at on the way to Bolivia. The food is great and the service is wonderful. Maria was there –we were thrilled to see.
As we were looking at the menus—she came over and took me by surprise – “Remember I pray for you before you go on your trip? I want you to pray for me”. Wow.
I didn’t have time to think up a fancy flowery prayer—I just asked her to sit in my chair and as I knelt down beside her I began to pray a simple prayer.—“God, thank You for Maria. Thank You for leading us safely back here so that we could see our new friend again. Thank You for our journey—thank You for the plans You have laid out for Maria’s life. Thank You that You do all things well. You amaze us with the details. I ask Lord that You would watch over Maria, continue to bless and help her. Guide her in the next steps of her life and let her know that You are taking great care of her family. Help Maria have peace for her children. Keep her walking in the direction You choose and bless her life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.”
Maria, the hostess of Ku`vas at the Miami airport— took me completely by surprise—but not God. The very fact that God orders our steps gives me confidence that this was one of His planned surprises. For both me and Maria.
Today—if you don’t know the God we have been talking about –I invite you to pray this simple prayer…meant it with your whole heart—and follow the leading of His Son as He guides your every step.
Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that without You I can do nothing–and that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I am not able to change my life or circumstances through my own efforts. I realize that You provided a way for me to know You and live with You eternally through the sacrifice of Your only Son, Jesus Christ. I accept His gift of life fully–whole heartedly! Live in me–purifying my heart, mind and life with Your love. Show me how to live–directing my thoughts and my life from today forward. May I be found pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus Holy Name I pray. Amen. (For more information and Scripture references, click here)
If you prayed that prayer—and would like to contact me, please feel free to email me— at email@example.com.
I pray that you will be encouraged in your walk with Christ. I cannot stress enough how short I feel we are on time…there are many lives to be shown the Way—and the days grow short and opportunity may not come but once for many.
Whether we are here 3 days—3 months or 3 years—only God knows. Don’t wait another day to make a change—the change you make today can make a difference for someone else tomorrow.
Pam Pettis with Andrea.
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