Over the last couple months, the Lord has been teaching me lessons about prayer. Not simple little whispers of prayer, but how to battle in prayer for others.
Lesson 1:PERSISTENT PRAYER IS NOT NAGGING GOD, IT IS SEEKING HIM TO DO WHAT ONLY HE CAN DO.
April 21st the Lord gave me a new nephew. Like Samuel, this baby was much prayed for. You see his big sister was not born alive and it was through much prayer that his mommy got pregnant with him. When it finally seemed like God said it was time for him to be born, I got the call and began to pray. And pray........and pray..........and call a dear friend and pray........and text for more prayer support and pray...........and pray...........and call a friend again and text more and pray................30hrs later with only a break of 4 hr of sleep God answered those many prayers. We rejoiced, but within hours God had us back on our knees again for there was a medical problem. By morning, God had healed that issue, but another arose. Back on the phone, and back on my knees I went. Finally it seemed that things were looking good, they could go home, when again another concern and back on my knees the Lord had me go. They are home now and he is the sweetest, healthiest baby:) I have still to get out of state to see this new precious child, but I feel like I have labored and birthed him myself in prayer.
Lesson 2:FASTING COUPLED WITH PRAYER IS A SERIOUS SPIRITUAL WEAPON.
I have a dear friend read a truth in her Bible and was determined to adjust her life to what it said. But the devil doesn't like to release us that easy. Days later she shared that she couldn't do it; the perceived negative fallout was like a road block. My heart grieved for this was more about her relationship to God and her belief about the Bible than the issue in front of her. I felt the Lord remind me that this was a serious spiritual battle that required intense prayer and fasting. So for the next 24hrs, I prayed and fasted. I didn't share it with others; I just silently interceded on behalf of my friend. With 24hrs after that, I received a call from my friend who had shared how God used a couple different people to show her that what He said was the right thing to do. And so she took the step of obedience to His Word.
Lesson 3:GOD DOESN'T ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS IN OUR WAYS, BUT HE ANSWERS IN THE WAY HE SEES BEST.
Another dear friend was facing a situation that was emotionally overwhelming. A situation that could be explosive and leave many painful memories at a crucial time. Again the Lord called me to be her armour bearer. This time I felt like a secret agent praying behind the scenes of a play asking the Great Director to make everything go smoothly. Each day I asked for specific things and some of it He flat out did the opposite. I felt like we were walking on a tightrope, but He did keep the strife away. He did it in ways I wouldn't have chosen, but He answered the overall prayer of my heart.
Lesson 4: PRAY ISN'T A DUTY, IT IS A PRIVILEGE.
A dear friend was leaving on a trip far across the ocean. (Those of you who have had a loved one die in an accident may understand the fear that grips your heart when someone you care about travels.) So I found out when she was leaving and returning and committed myself to pray for her that whole time. I took my earlier lessons of getting prayer support and applied them to this situation: I contacted friends by text and phone to be in a prayer group and asked another dear friend to be my daily prayer partner. I also text or emailed my traveling friend daily to let her know we were praying. I took this on because I felt it was my duty to pray for her; I learned it was actually a privilege to do so. You see, the Lord laid on my heart certain words for us to pray over her each day. He gave these words to me the morning she left. And to hear from her how she need those words on those specific days just reminded me again of the sovereignty of God.
Lesson 5: OBEY THE PROMPTINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
God is still working on me! Too often something like the following happens. There was a time I felt I was to call my prayer partner and reasoned in my head why the timing wasn't good. Later to my shame, I found out my friend needed prayer at that exact time!! God hadn't let her be unprotected, but He did allow me to miss the blessing of seeing Him work. Another lesson.
Six years ago, a lifetime ago it seems, I shared with the Lord I wanted to become a prayer warrior with stories of triumph to share. These recent lessons reminded me that the Lord is molding me into what I desire to be. I am reminded often that being a prayer warrior is not an easy or glorified role. It is draining, intense, sweaty work!! Sometimes I am required to charge head long into a spiritual battle with my sword swinging. Sometimes I am required to struggle along beside a friend carrying their burden like a armour that is too heavy for them to bear alone. Sometimes I am called to be shut away from the action and just pray in faith for what I can not see. Each time I stand amazed that the Almighty Creator of the universe cares enough to intervene on our behalf just because He loves us. Just because He can.