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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “Jonah”

Prayer List

I love the authenticity my Christian friends and I share.  I love the fact that we can celebrate the joys of life with pure hearts.  I love that we encourage each other through difficult times.  I love how we challenge each other to be our best selves and how in our weaker moments we provide one another with emotional safe havens.  In truth, there are many things I love about these relationships but most of all I love our commitment to live consistently with what we profess to be our faith.  I love this because we understand the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ, which in turn sets the foundation for valuing relationships and for caring for people.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Sunday School class.  At its end, a woman came up to me and said the Lord prompted her to ask me what I wanted her to pray for me.  At first I was surprised, but we exchanged prayer requests.  As I walked away, I thought to myself, “That’s the kind of Sunday School group I want to be a part of, one where people pray for each other for real.”

Fortunately, I am blessed to have a group of friends who intentionally pray for me and likewise I intentionally pray for them. (Unfortunately, not all Christians have this.)  Up until recently, I primarily kept a mental prayer list.  Over the years, I have noticed that a number of my friends actually write theirs down.  Without them knowing it, they had planted a seed which for me has only recently began to sprout.  There is power in the written Word.

Child Praying

Sometimes I hear the boomerang sounds of my words coming back at me.  This happened recently when a friend said to me, “When I say that I will pray for you that is what I mean.  I will add you to my prayer list and pray for you.”  I understood the seriousness of her tone and words.  I am blessed to have friends like that.  I have come to realize a reflection of myself seen in them.  They are workers.  Understanding this has given me a greater understanding of the importance of our mutual prayers and of the seriousness of our prayer lists.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord for the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  —Matthew 9:36-38

We have work do.  There are times when our assignments will be hard or we may find ourselves like Jonah—backpedaling.  Still, we have work to do.  Help is asking for others and others are asking for help.  Christians, however, let not our prayer lists stop with the “Sick and Shut-In”.  Pray too for the workers.  They may or may not be standing before us on Sunday mornings.

Once I saw a Christian lady on television with tears in her eyes ask, “Who’s praying for me?”  Thank God I have workers praying for me.  (Participants understand things that spectators simply do not.)  Whose prayer list have you made for working in the Lord’s harvest field?  Who’s praying for you to complete your divine-assignments?  You better believe, there are those orchestrating so you won’t.

Reminder, Focus

There are so many injustices in this world that I seem to be sensitive to that in times past I have found it easy to lose myself in the struggles of “other” people. Interestingly, it was through this self-discovery that I learned that I am a passionate advocate. I did not always know what to do with this passion, especially when it met that familiar sound of……crickets.

But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”
“I do,” he said, “I am angry enough to die.”
But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
—Jonah 4:9-11

Recently, I received a biblical reminder, “Focus”. You see, in this scene I was designated a “leader” amongst a group of people and I had been tasked with a particular assignment. I was not, at all, enthused by this but I understood the importance of my role, so I did my part as best I could. Distractions surrounded me. People blatantly disrespected one another; spirits of intimidation and jealousy circled. At another time, I may have entertained them, but this time completing my assignment was most important. Have you ever completed a job, unsure of what others thought about it but knowing that you did your best? That was my situation and that was enough. At the end of the day, I confidently went home.

Face

For the next few days, I had a series of talks with God about spiritual warfare and about the antics some Christians have adopted when they feel their “status” threatened. It did not take long for God to answer me, very directly. I read Jonah and took away a simple message, “FOCUS. Let God tend to the vine.” Admittedly, I was losing focus and had become increasingly frustrated by the people…and by that familiar sound. I repented. A few days later, I received a blessing I may blog about at a later time. Won’t He do it!!!!

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