Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Prayer: God's Way of Propelling Us To Perfect Submission (Part 1)

Imagine a tenaciously talented and very beautiful (inside and out) lady who has been through some incredibly hard knocks in her adult life. Somehow, in the face of losing a husband to MS when she was very young herself, another more recently to a sad divorce, and later, her father through a tragic and sudden death, AG has maintained an amazing freshness and love of life. We were friends in junior and senior high school, our hearts knitted together by love, humor, an adventure for life, and our belief in God.

Thankful that we were able to reconnect (through Facebook) a couple of years ago and have actually met face-to-face twice, I had been praying for a big change in her life. She was looking to relocate in hopes of finding a job in her medical field that would give her better weekend hours. It had been some years since she had been able to attend a Sunday service because of her work schedule. She was determined to change that. God heard her prayers and opened the door for doing the job she loved with much better hours. In a different town.

So she and her son packed up their belongings, sold what they didn't need to take, and said their goodbyes to a life that been good to them in many way, but had also become stagnant. Though she does like the new city and her new job, a couple of variables have fought against her. Not having been in the city long enough to establish friendships, find a good church family, nor to gain complete benefits and sick days, AG was taken aback when she developed shingles (for the second time in a year) that forced her to take off work without pay. It was faith-growing time and she knew it.

A couple of weeks ago, she texted me - simply asking me to pray for her because she was going through a great trial. She had done the math and knew that she was not going to be able to pay all of her rent when it came due. Though she had gas in her car (running, but desperately needed repairs) and food in the pantry, the end of the month loomed bleakly. Succumbing to fear and concern, she asked me to pray for God's provision. It took a lot for her to even admit this to me; that I knew before she even told me it did.

I wanted so badly to help her and was, right away, willing to write her a check from my book account though most of it was earmarked for my daughter's upcoming wedding. I wasn't worried about whether she paid me back or not - though I knew she would. So I prayed about it and I heard a definite NO. God impressed on me that I would not be used to answer AG's prayers in that way. As hard as that was to accept (because it seemed the quickest and simplest way), I have since learned not to interfere in what God wants to do in a person's life. SO I PRAYED.

Have you ever felt very compelled to pray for someone but did not know exactly how? A few years ago, I was reading in the book of Ephesians and was brought face-to-face with the perfect prayer for times like that.

I encourage you to read the entire first chapter of Ephesians - giving special emphasis to verses 15-23.

For AG, I prayed these specific things:

....that God may give her the spirit of wisdom & revelation in the knowledge of Him (vs. 17)

....that she may know what is the HOPE of His calling (particularly in her life) (vs. 18)

....that she may know the entire scope & greatness of His power toward us who believe (vs. 19)

 Tomorrow I will share the rest of the story, but I will tell you this....God wrote Ephesians 3:20 boldly in the sky for AG!!

Gotta a story of hope & faith & answered prayer (whether it was what you wanted or not)? I would love to hear about it and have the opportunity to write about it on here.