This month I would like to share more about some results of prayer rather than facts or teachings about prayer. God has been doing a lot of work in my personal life, especially over the last 2 years and the trials I have encountered through that time. He has taught me a great deal more about prayer and His great desire for a time of personal communication between me and Himself. As I have sat with Him, He has blessed me so very richly.
One of the ways He has blessed me is by making it possible for me to go on 2 Work & Witness trips this year. In each trip, God did a great work in the team and through the team. A major reason of the work accomplished on both teams is the prayers of all the people for the Team and for the task before us. We were so blessed by all who prayed.
By the end of our time in El Salvador this last October, the team members had a great desire within them to not come home and be the same as we were before we left. We hungered to keep the increased passion for the Lord and for serving Him in greater ways after we returned to the routines of life. On our last day in El Salvador, when we gathered for our last team devotion there. Many, perhaps all, of the team had spent time in prayer and fasting asking the Lord for His guidance. We asked for His guidance in our personal lives and then for His guidance for us as a team. Each person took time to write a personal note to themselves about what God was speaking to them personally, to help them commit to remember and follow through. We asked the Lord what He wanted us to do as a team. The team felt God asking us to do the same for our church here in regards to prayer as we did for each church we served in El Salvador. The last thing each team does at a church they have helped is to gather with all the local people present, provide brief guidance and then spread out, lay hands on the church and its people and pray. (At least the 4 teams I have been able to serve on have done this). We spend time praying for all the things God puts on each persons heart. What a great blessing that is.
We have committed to meet and pray for our church in the same way. To better meet the demands on people’s schedules, we have selected 2 different times when people meet together. We gather in our Worship Center at 11 a.m. on Thursday mornings and again at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings. We would invite everyone to come join us. Prayer will make a difference in our lives and the church just as we have seen it done on the Work & Witness trips.
As I noted in the first paragraph, God has been drawing me into a more intimate personal relationship, one in which I am learning to sit with Him and communicate with Him, not just talk to Him. He is increasing my desire to hear and immediately obey His desires for my life. In the past I have been too concerned with what other people may think of me or what I perceive they may think. There have been times when I now believe God was speaking to me and wanting me to do something and I hesitated or did not follow through. As I have drawn closer to the Lord and am learning to recognize His “still small voice”, I hunger to become immediately obedient. God is helping me overcome obstacles in my walk of obedience, often helping me move out of my comfort zone into full obedience. On this last Work & Witness trip, God did indeed help me grow. I am so very grateful.
Let me share a couple of the more public personal examples. In the past there were times when we were sitting in worship services and I sensed God wanting me to stand in worship – when everyone else was sitting. I generally resisted. There were also times when I sensed God wanting me to go to the altar to pray for a specific concern and I hesitated and generally prayed in my seat. Since the last W & W trip, I have been able to respond immediately each time I sensed God’s desire, I have not been concerned with what others in the service would think. I am more concerned with God desires and obedience to Him. I pray He will empower me in full obedience.
James 4:8 tells us to draw close to God and He will draw close to you. I am finding that to be so very true. I encourage everyone to sit with God each day, learn to communicate with Him (not just to Him). His plan for us is perfect; His love is such a great blessing.