Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Bold Prayer Life?




Photo Credit *







I was at work when the phone rang and her name popped up on the screen. In my most upbeat voice I answered, "Hey Michelle!" There was silence and then her shaking voice spoke through a veil of tears. "They say I have stage four cancer." "The specialist said there is nothing they can do for me...." Her voice trailed off.

I had no idea how to respond to this situation. So I did the only thing I could think of. I begin to search for a corner of the office where I could drop to my knees and pour out words with tears,  as I begged God to show me how to pray. 

Michelle had been a regular in Wednesday Night Bible Study. Just two weeks after that phone call she was so sick that the group decided to meet at the church and drive to her home to pray with her. She could not lift her head from where she lay on the couch. We pushed her makeshift bed out far enough from the wall that we could form a circle around her and hold hands to pray. We read scripture out loud about the last supper. We cried.

Before this I prayed and I believed prayer was important. But I had not prayed with the intensity that I felt in this situation.   We were asking for a miracle if it would be God's will to heal her, ....yet we were praying  this too  "....we believe Lord, help our unbelief....."

That was three years ago. Michelle is a living testimony to what prayer can do. The extent of her cancer was well documented by professionals. Out of innocence, ignorance and child like faith some people begged God to show Himself mighty, so that His Name would be glorified .... and He did.

It was as if God was waiting for someone to just believe Him for the impossible.


It changed how I pray.

It changed how I live.

It changed how I see God.








I wonder if I'm the only person who gets caught in the trap of smallness of faith. Perhaps thinking I'm praying when actually I'm praying timid prayers? Prayers for comfort and ease. Prayers to make some uncomfortable situation go away.

Are you believing God for big bodacious prayers? Sending out requests that require Him to show up or the situation is just doomed to fail?

I love Joshua's faith in Joshua 6:1-16. The plan made no sense. The troops were told to walk without talking, around an impossible 50 foot wall that surrounded a twelve acre city. Joshua had a mind to believe God is who He says He is. Even though to our knowledge he had never seen this battle strategy before.

In that moment when they raised a holy roar on the seventh day and the walls came tumbling down I wonder if they were as amazed at answered prayer as I was with my friend.

Years later Jesus was on his way out of Jericho when two blind men call out to Him. The men ask Jesus "...to have mercy on them." I love how Jesus responds to them.  "What do you want me to do for you?" (Luke 18:41)

I'm thinking Jesus knew the answer to His own question right?    -So He must have been asking the question for the benefit of the men. He was asking them to define what their request was. Maybe to see if they even knew what they wanted.

And they were bold in their answer, "I want to see!" How sad it would have been if they answered some vague, wishy-washy prayer like "Help us get through this day...."

My prayers are often something fuzzy and ridiculous like:

"Help so-and-so feel better Lord..."

When I should be more specific like:

"Lord reveal more of yourself to Sally. If she doesn't have a personal relationship with You Jesus would you do the spiritual healing and if you are willing the physical healing as well? " 

When my friend began her journey through cancer I wept before the Lord and asked Him for a scripture that I could claim and confidently know it was His will that I pray that way. The verse my Bible fell open to was this: 'He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' (2 Samuel 12:22 NIV)

 I felt the Lord was telling me that I could pray boldly for Michelle's healing, because "who knows.." -If she lost her battle I would stop praying for her healing. But until then keep praying. This gave me great confidence in my prayers on her behalf and in other matters as well. Pray until I see to stop praying that thing.



Another verse that I love to embolden my prayer life is this:



You do not have
because
you do not ask.

James 4:2 ESV


Have I really asked God for a specific thing? We can at least ask. 


So often I am overwhelmed with needs and the depth of pain in a situation. When my heart and words fail me I often pray this:



 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groans that words cannot express."

(Romans 8:26 NIV)


I love that we can ask the Spirit to express what we cannot. 

Like Joshua we have to pray through to the end. The wall would not have fallen if they had only marched around the wall twelve times. They had to make the thirteenth lap.

Most of us hope to see answers sooner than later. But sometimes the answer is "wait".  Our prayers don't have expiration dates on them. They can be like time capsules that go into the future. The example in scripture is that some promises were not answered even in their life time. 

And finally this. Praising God says that we believe He has heard our prayer and that it is answered. We don't know what the answer is or the timeline for that, but we are confident that God is for us and has heard our requests.  

Years ago when my oldest children were making decisions that make parents stay awake at night, I felt the Lord took me to this verse.



I will pour out my Spirit
on your offspring,
and my blessing
on your descendants.
Isaiah 44:3


I put in on my wall with their pictures where I see it every day and continue to pray that promise over my family.  Sometimes I trace my finger around the words as I say them. More to remind myself that I'm circling this promise from God on behalf of my loved ones. I have no doubt that my prayers will walk into the future long after I have left this earth. 

Sweet sisters may we approach His throne with a holy confidence that He indeed hears and honor our prayer. 

Pray His Promises.

Pray bold and specifically.

Praise Him deeply.




Photo Credit *




With love and bold prayers,


Rhonda






Resource: "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson
Photo Credit * -Pinterest
Quote photo: by Rhonda







8 comments:

  1. Thank you for that encouraging, challenging and comforting post! I wait on God in confidence!

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    1. Thank you for reading! You actually encouraged me. Blessings friend.

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  2. oh Rhonda you don't know how much I needed this reassurance of God's faithfulness if we will only be bold and ask and sometimes the answer is not now, wait, we need to sing our praises and continue to trust. all in His timing...

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    1. Thanks Renae. The goal is that Jesus will use the words to speak to those He knows need to hear them. You made my evening. xo

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  3. Such great timimg, a blessing indeed. I have been struggling with prayer for some time now but this has truly been encouraging for me...thank you Rhonda!

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    1. So glad to know this. Thanks for coming by.

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  4. Thank You so much for this. It was so timely, just what I needed at this very moment. Bless you. Doesn't Father just know how, who, and when to use in our lives at the perfect moment.

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    1. Yes the Father does know. And He is sweet to use us in His Kingdom! So glad you found your way here!

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