Prayer is the simplest, yet often the most difficult action that we can take to alleviate suffering. As the hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus,/ All our sins and griefs to bear! /What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! /O what peace we often forfeit, /O what needless pain we bear, /All because we do not carry/ Everything to God in prayer. Why worry? Why fret? Let God be the first avenue of defense. We must realize that apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). It is God who works in us both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phillipians 2:13). All we have to do is ask God, (according to His will), believe that He will do it (John 15:7) and thank and praise Him in advance of the answer (Phillipians 4:6).
Earlier this year, I along with eight other women became part of a prayer ministry. The Lord placed us on the heart of Denyse, the leader of this fledgling ministry. We each started interceding for someone in our group, while we read Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle. After we prayed for forty consecutive days, we met at a cafe to discuss the effects of our prayer circle. Although everyone was not in attendance, we enjoyed sharing the word of God while discussing His blessings. During our next forty day prayer challenge, we agreed to add more women go the group and to read Warren Wiersbe’s book, On Being a Servant of God and Rachel Hickson’s Run Your Race, a forty day devotional. Our goal is to allow the Lord to work in our lives, as we dedicate ourselves to Him in service, in prayer, and in study of His word.
During the initial forty days, I had many prayer requests including the following: blood pressure and heart rate lowering, success with my students on various projects, improved hair care, time management, salvation and spiritual growth and development for family, friends, students, and colleagues, and healing for both my sister, her daughter, and for my daughter, Latoya. The leader of the ministry, prayed for me daily. God heard our prayers. During the last four months, I have become more focused on the word of God, service, and on prayer. My daughter and I have weekly Bible studies, from which we both have gained much. The Bible studies are truly from the Lord. Every week she asks, “When are we having Bible study?” Moreover, my students excelled academically regarding their Shakespeare performances. My blood pressure and my heart rate are SIGNIFICANTLY lower. Both are regularly as low as they were thirty years ago. Now that is a miracle! My sister’s health has improved. I have accomplished many tasks both professionally and personally with great time management. Although I have prayed for many people for both their personal and spiritual growth, I trust in God that He has heard these prayers.
During this next prayer challenge, I am committed to praying for one of the women as well as for my friends, my family, my daughter, my colleagues, my church’s leadership, and for missionaries. I am believing God for great blessings. I know that there is nothing too hard for God. I will show my faith by giving Him my most challenging problems and thanking and praising Him in advance of the answer.
Reflections on Wiersbe’s On Being A Servant of God
Prayer is the engine that drives the body of Christ (the church). In order to have an effective clean engine, we must have compassionate hearts toward people, have a personal relationship with God, and become channels of God’s resources so that He is glorified. We see these ideas exemplified in Wiersbe’s book. Ministry, Wiersbe says, “Takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God.” He lets the ministry worker know that ministry is difficult, but that we must press forward. We may never get either public or private praise, but God knows the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Situations and people are difficult, but in order to work through these situations and with people, we must continually devote ourselves to prayer and to the study of God’s word and other books that enrich our lives and increase our knowledge. Prayer, service, and study all prepare us for the next set of challenges.
Reflections on Hickson’s Run Your Race
God compels us in His word to run the race with perseverance, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2) and serving as a good Christian athlete competing according to the rules while enduring great hardship (2 Timothy 2:5). Rachel Hickson’s devotional exhorts us to face our lives with courage, purity, passion, and sacrifice, because we, like our biblical heroes, are dedicated and destined to be God’s champions. Each week, for forty days, there is a set of challenges and prayers to help us in our dedication to fulfill the calling of God on our lives.
Start a prayer ministry (women with women and men with men). Read and study the Bible daily, and pray for you to be God’s hand extended. Watch and see the blessings in and through your life start to flow. If you do not know Christ, invite Him into your heart and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Then allow Him to do the work within your life.
For spiritual growth and development read: Hebrews 11 and Proverbs 3.