Oct 23, 2012

Tuesday SHINE...

Today's Reading: Matthew 17

Good morning, SHINE girls! Are we so in love with Jesus or what? If the book of Matthew doesn't just make you fall head over red-high-heels, then I don't know what will!

Jesus is my the MAN! Oh my goodness. I seriously cannot get enough of Jesus and I know you all feel the same way. :)

Today, my friend Angie Ludlow is posting. Angie posted a couple of months ago, so if you missed it go here and check it out.

Her post today was exactly what my dried-out little heart needed. After reading it, I thanked the Lord over and over for speaking through her to me. I will bet my favorite Mary Kay lipgloss that you all feel the same way after reading.

Be blessed, sweet girls.


Prayer Matters
by: Angie Ludlow

We all have said it... “I’ll pray for you”, but are we truly praying to the Lord and making our requests heard out loud?

Last year when I lost my grandmother I finally picked up the book I had heard so much about, Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. The book is about his son, Colton, who during an emergency hospital trip, journeys to heaven and back. I purchased the book at the airport on the way to my grandmother’s memorial and finished it before landing. It was a simple read with a simple message…Heaven IS for real. But I got a bit more out of it than that. What I took away was prayer…it matters.

Colton talks about being in heaven and watching his father pray before he gave his sermons. (Time is not the same in heaven as it is on Earth so Colton witnessed events that had happened, were currently happening and that had yet to occur.) He stated that he saw the Lord answer his father’s prayers by sending a beam of light or power down upon his father…just like that.

That simple. The man asked…the Lord beamed it down. That was such a visual for me. I could see something like the bat signal blasting through the sky and resting upon this man. It was God’s OK. His blessing…you ask, He gives.

The book also talks about the prayers being raised up while he was in the hospital as well as prayers for him to show signs of recovery from a surgery. Each time the prayers were answered. Again, I see the Lord sending his beam of approval down to Earth.

Obviously the plan all along was for this boy to spread the message that heaven is for real. I had known that, what I was lacking, apparently, was the reality that God listens to and answers prayers…for real.

Not long after reading this book and making the personal commitment to truly pray when I say I will, our very own Jill had asked that we pray for her friend David. I did not know David. Never met him and knew I never would. But he needed prayers sent up. So I prayed. I sent up my prayer along with the countless others. Anytime I thought about this man’s story I wouldn’t think that’s so sad…I would pray. And pray hard. He needed it.

David was delivered by his illness, or disease. And thus the prayer for him to be delivered through his disease was not answered. God took David home instead. Does that mean our prayers didn't work? Does that mean they didn't matter? Why would He answer one man’s prayer but not another? Maybe some one much more wise than I knows the answer to this. All I know for sure I that prayer does matter. They do get answered and we should pray.

I have started a personal journey in my faith walk by making a commitment to prayer for others.

(*Note: I hesitate to share this little piece of me for various reasons, but feel I need to use this as an example, not in anyway intended to be boastful*) 

I have joined the intercessory prayer team at my church, dedicating myself to show up every week and pray for the various requests made by members of the church. At first I was excited to make this commitment, not really feeling it was about others but about me. That makes sense right? Well see, I have this dear friend… Jill ;)…who often times reminds me that when we pour into others, blessings pour into us. I was all ready for some blessings to be “poured” my way. So my reasons were completely selfish to start this journey.  But when I first sat down with the list of prayer requests I was taken aback. I had not given it any thought as to what I would be praying for….sad story after sad story. I could also see the past requests and how a prayer for healing would be updated with a simple note: They have passed.

Uh oh. This might be a bit more depressing than I had bargained for. But by this point all the realizations I had once made about prayer came flooding to the forefront. It didn't matter how disheartening this would be….they need prayers…. I would send them.

It’s not easy to not bring a persons story home. I could easily carry around the “that could be us” or “this world is so sad” feelings all day. But that is truth….that COULD be us. And wouldn't I want as many prayers as possible going to heaven for me? Wouldn't you?

When talking to my mom about the subject she asked the question…”Don’t you think that could get to you after a while?”... And it was in answering her I realized where I truly stand on the matter.

“Yes, it’s depressing. But it’s not about me. I take my prayer seriously.”

“Bless your heart”, “Y’all come back”, and “Heavens to Betsy”….These are simple expressions. “I’ll pray for you” shouldn't be. Let’s take this seriously.

Prayer matters.




6 comments:

  1. ashkey moon10/23/2012

    Great Post, Angie.... Prayers are important, and we do use I'll pray for you at the drop of a hat! bowing my head this morning :)

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  2. God sure is pounding the subject of prayer into my fake blond hair this week! He has presented me with some HEAVY needs through great friends, family and strangers this last week alone!!!!!
    Thank you Angie for sharing!
    He has also given me this song in my heart that I thought I would share. Be encouraged girls and pray!

    DO IT LORD

    I see your glory, covering the earth Lord
    Just as the waters, covering the sea
    I see the millions, coming to salvation
    I see revival, fire in the land
    I see the lost, nameless ones remembered
    I see the widows, shouting out your praise
    I see the friendless, loved and cele brated
    Orphans fullfilling Lord, your calling on their lives

    Do It Lord, do it lord
    Do it Lord we are praying
    Do it Lord, do it
    That your glory may be seen

    I see forgiveness over taking hatred
    Pride and prejudice, now giving way to love
    I see depression replaced with joy and gladness
    And Satan's lies, now bowing to the truth

    Do It Lord, do it lord
    Do it Lord we are praying
    Do it Lord, do it!
    That your glory may be seen

    This is our prayer oh God
    This is our desperate cry
    In these days that were living now
    Let your kingdom come
    Let your will be done

    I see the brokeness of families, brought to wholeness
    I see the prodigals, running home to you
    Father's hearts, now turning toward their children
    And the children's hearts, turning toward the fathers
    I see your Church, all rising up in power
    Laying down their lives in unity and love
    I hear the sound of every tribe and nation
    Giving glory to Jesus Christ the Son


    love, Erin

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  3. Thanks, Angie, for the reminder to me that I keep on keeping on...and He does, too! I keep praying (as a prayer minister of Women Who Pray) my part in the scheme of things...and He does what He says what He will because He is who He says He is!! Woo HOO!! I'm who He says I am and can do all things through Him who gives me joy which is my strength!! Thanks much!!

    Thanks, Erin, for the words to this song in your heart...if on you-tube? I'd like to download to hear over and over and over again...:)

    Thanks Shinegirls for making me smile!!

    I've been in tears today...so heart-broken over a bff...and you have famed my fire again...I'm refreshed!!

    Woo Hoo!!!! :) <3

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  4. Angie,

    That was an awesome, encouraging post. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit while He used you and spoke directly to me! Wonderful words!

    XO,

    Rebekah

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  5. Thank you for sharing the visual of what the Lord showed you. It is such an encouraging thing and I caught hold of it! The song says 'when we walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on the way, when we do His good will, He abides with us still and with all who is trust and obey'. These things come from God when we are His. He GIVES us gifts, He's a GOOD heavenly Father. People want to know, how do you hear from God, how do you know you're in His will, how do you have a 'relationship'. This is it, see Angie's post. It's real not only in this section of her relationship but for all of us in all areas. Thank you Lord!

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Your comments are welcome!