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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “prayer”

Book Review: Goals…Set Them!

BACKDROP

I knew I needed to get a particular book, but I had no idea where or what it was.  What an odd feeling—knowing you are being nudged to read a book, but not knowing its title.  A couple of weeks passed, but it would not go away.  I knew I needed to be obedient, so [finally] off to the bookstore I went with two conspicuous ideas in mind:

  • an athlete’s mind and
  • setting goals.

Getting out of my car, I did not know if I should first visit the Sports section, the Self Help section, or the Adult Fiction section.  Maybe the book is in the Non-Fiction section or the New Release section?  Books are everywhere.  I could see them walking to the entrance, but when I opened the door and stepped inside the strangest thing happened.  I was instructed to go to the Christian Life section.  Off I went to find what I was looking for.

REVIEW

This morning I finished the book entitled, The Circle Maker.  See:   https://www.amazon.com/Circle-Maker-Praying-Circles-Greatest/dp/0310330734   What a timely read!  It had been pressed upon my spirit that I needed to pray more, so much so that I had begun mentioning it to people.  I am blessed to be surrounded by people who hear my cry.  One friend got so excited when I said this and soon after I discovered why.  She gave me a movie to watch.  YES….She gave me War Room.  Clearly, God wants me to tighten up my prayer life.

Woman Praying

War Room was recently added to my Movies To Watch list, but I had not gotten around to viewing it.  [Can’t help but think that maybe that was by design too.]

The Circle Maker, inspired me to start a prayer journal, one that is devoted to prayer and goal setting.  Within a week I jotted down, what turned out to be, two answered prayers.  Now, I know that more than two prayers were answered during the week but these were two which resulted from specific prayers I prayed.

If you want to grow in your prayer life, I would highly recommend reading this book.  I liked it because it is not “preachy”, yet it gives tools which encourage you to PRAY BIGGER.  By the end, I knew I was not praying BIG enough.  [After all, God can do all things!]  The realization that I had not been praying BIG enough sadden me just a little.  More so, however, I was excited for my future because I knew I was about to make some changes.  Memories of past visions were triggered.  Images that God showed me in dreams and confirmations I received were surfacing.  I know now, however, that prayer is essential and praying with others is important.

Some people have the spiritual gift of intercession.  I am not aware that I am one of those people, so reading this book is a blessing and verification that the time has come to seriously focus on my assignment.  There is work to be done and settling is not an option.

I won’t share (all) the tools that Pastor Batterson gave as I would encourage you to buy and read the book, but when thinking about how the Holy Spirit led me to this book and ministered to me while reading it I cannot help but wonder if it was because of someone else’s circle.

Note:  This book makes a great group read.

Field Work

Societal ills are easy to spot, aren’t they?  From problems in education to failures in addressing mental health concerns;  From homelessness to hungriness, unemployment to under-employment—you name the category and within it will reside a laundry list of shortcomings waiting to be addressed.  It can be overwhelming, especially if you sincerely care for the wellbeing of others.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  —Luke 10:2

There was a time in my life when I had worked myself into utter exhaustion under the guise of community service…or dare I say, Christian service.  I was so tired emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually that I needed to put myself in a timeout.  Yes, I needed to go and sit in a corner, facing a wall and think about what got me here.  I needed to find a place where I was not being distracted by the work that needed to be done because I had just enough confidence to think, “I can do it.”  I needed to settle and center myself so that I could hear God’s voice.

Rest

Yes, within me He has stirred a genuine love for people.  Yes, within me He has placed a sizable amount of assurance.  During this time, however, He was developing within me a deeper understanding of what and with whom I am to work.  I, also, needed to be clear about where within His field He assigned me to work.

Prior to my timeout session, I would do things because I could.  If there was a problem and if I could help, I would.  An interesting thing happened, however, once I became depleted.  I prayed often and unapologetically for strength, clarity, and help.

Admittedly, it felt good being revitalized—so good, in fact, I needed to be reminded to get back in the field.  Just like I had learned to pray for help, others were praying for me to helpHave you ever showed up at a place and knew that somebody prayed for you to be there?  You may not know who prayed (—and they may not know that it was you who they prayed for—), but you knew somebody did.  Such knowledge confirms responsibility.

As a Christian, I understand that there is work to do.  I understand that I am a servant, a worker.  (Faith without works is dead. —Read James)  I understand that the Body needs all of its parts to function most efficiently and effectively.  It is my constant prayer for workers, for help, for Family to join me in God’s harvest field where there is much work to do.  We may not work in the same area, but looking across the valleys and plains, seeing and knowing that you are too working, not only makes things easier for me, but it also encourages my soul.  I can only hope that when you look over at me the feeling is mutual.  Pray.

Praying…More

Lately, I have been thinking about a reoccurring instruction, “Pray over everything.”  I am not sure when this “direction” first started but at this point it seems to be a stubbornly, pressing message.  Do you pray over everything?

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.  —Luke 5:16

Child Praying

Do I pray over everything?  No.  I am getting better about doing so, but I am not there yet.  As I grow in this area, I am noticing that I am becoming more aware about the thoughts and words that I have and say…and do not say.  This is important because thoughts and words are powerful.

Interestingly, as I become more intentional about deepening my prayer life I have noticed that more and more people are sharing with me that they have been praying for me.  Isn’t that interesting?  Is it coincidental?  Nah.  God knows that I now have a greater understanding of what it means to be prayed for.  That understanding helps me understand why it is important for me to be adamant about praying regularly.

I am here—alive today—because people prayed for me, even when I could not or would not pray for myself…not just one time, but repeatedly.  Not only am I here, but I am present and purposeful because of the power of prayer.   OOOOOOOOOH, you all do not know what the prayers of the righteous have done for me!

In addition to receiving the prayers of others, I have prayed for myself.  I have seen God answer my prayers by making a way for me when I saw no way;  I have rested in His peace when chaos relentlessly whirled around; I have seen Him move what some considered unmovable; I have watched Him bring the right person into my life at the right time to help keep me on the right path.  He has fed me, comforted me, protected me, and blessed me all in the face of my enemies.  Guess what, I continue to pray and He continues to do so.

A few years ago, I heard one of my grandmother’s pray for the first time.  I have only heard her pray a few times, but every time I am amazed.  Her prayers are so powerful that they demand attention;  They are so spiritually strong that tears are often called to roll down my cheeks on the spot.  I can only hope that God hears my prayers and smiles upon them as I do my grandmother’s.  I can only hope that when He hears me, He recognizes me as one of His as my grandmother recognizes me as one of hers.

As I reflect, I know that the days are gone when I would simply repeat the same prayers over and over—you know, the ones we learn as children.  I care too much to robotically recite prayers.  I need to be more like Jesus and often withdraw to quiet spaces and pray.  Spiritual warfare is serious.  The power of prayer—individually and collectively—is more than a neutralizer.  Contrarily to what people think they see, it has the power to manifest VICTORY…..EVERYTIME!

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