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.

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