William woke us up last night crying in pain from his ear hurting.  The good thing about having a husband who is medical school is that he had an otoscope handy and sure enough, his ear was all inflamed and infected.  Since Micah is working this morning, the boys and are home for the morning.  They are set up watching a movie and I am watching the constant news coverage of Hurricane Irene. 

Last weekend, I attended a women's tea where the speaker was a pastor from Joplin whose church was all but destroyed in the tornado there this past May.  He also happened to be a chaplain in the Army and had recently spent a year in Iraq.  He shared about his Aunt Leigh who over and over again throughout his deployment had sent cards and letters saying how on specific dates and times, she had been prompted to pray specifically for him and his soldiers and it never failed to be times when they were under attack or at critical moments.  At one point, not long after a particularly difficult mortar attack where they had narrowly avoided many casualties (the mortar fell just 10-15 feet from areas that would have caused major fatalities), their former chaplain sent them the following Scripture:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many .  2 Corinthians 1:8-11
He was able to use this Scripture to encourage his soldiers on how God had used the prayers of many to protect them.   Then, he shared about the weekend that the tornado hit his church in Joplin.  Earlier that weekend, his Aunt Leigh had called to say that she was praying for them, that they had been on her mind.  Of course, that had come to cause his family a 'bit' of alarm because so often she had prayed for them through difficult moments.  The night of the tornado, they were having choir practice at the church and while the weather reports looked bad, so often in this part of the country, we tend to not take the warnings very seriously because the tornadoes often pass us by.  But, he decided to go up to the church and check on things.  They had all gathered in the one room where there were no windows and as it became apparent that the tornado was indeed coming, they all hunkered down under the tables.  As the wind subsided and they could tell that the storm had passed, they began to come out and go to see what sort of damage the church had sustained.  Basically, their entire church apart from that one room had been leveled.  Their pews looked as if they had just been pushed into the parking lot, the upper level of the church which was right over their 'safe' room had been completely taken off, the only walls left standing were simple sheetrock walls that, in theory, should not have sustained the winds of the storm.  One of the church members said, 'it is almost as if there was more than just the walls that were between us and the storm.'  He went on to encourage us to be like Epaphras in Colossians 4:12 who is 'always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.'  The words 'laboring earnestly' literally mean to struggle, to contend with an adversary.  I feel like I have seasons in my life where I have 'struggled in prayer' for others, for situations in my own life, but was challenged to make those 'seasons' more of the normal part of my life.  I want to be an "Aunt Leigh" prayer warrior for others.  I know without doubt that there have been many of those prayer warriors for me and for my family. 

Then, the very next day at church, our pastor Casey was teaching from Acts 2:42 where it speaks of the early church was 'continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching....and to prayer.' and he asked us the following questions: 
  • What prayers are we begging God to answer?
  • Where am I asking Him to move supernaturally?
  • How can we begin to pray more fervently and purposefully?
I just felt like it was a timely reminder (and great follow up to the previous day) to me to devote myself to prayer for my family, for what I want God to do in our life, in the world, for those who are hurting, for those who are ill and in desperate need of God, and for those who God puts on my heart.  While I pray every day, I am often guilty of reciting my 'laundry list' of requests and not necessarily 'struggling or contending with an adversary' as I pray.  I know that God hears my 'laundry list', but I also know that when I truly and earnestly pray, it also grows my faith and reminds me of how important it is to rely on God, to trust Him with the situations that we on our own can do nothing about.  

I am not sure if these are very coherent thoughts, but they are the ones that have been running in my head over the last week.


Annette said…
Very coherent thoughts and good continual reminders. I went to the youth prayer service (much to M's dismay!) Wed. night and it was awesome! Hope your little guy feels good soon.
Leah said…
Becky,I really should comment more often. I generally mean to, but somehow it escapes me. However, I wanted you to know that I was challenged by your post today. It is regretably easy to not work on the prayer aspect of our (my) relationship with God, but we (I)suffer for it. My heart has been challenged. Thank you.
Monica said…
Thanks for such a heartfelt and poignant reminder!
thehsmomof3 said…
You truly have the heart of a prayer warrior. Thank you for listening to our Lord and continually challenging and inspiring me. - Sherri
Amy said…
Thanks for this reminder, Becky. I so needed it! My quiet time/prayer time has really become a struggle since Lukas came home. I'm working on making it my first priority at the beginning of each day. This post reminded me of how much I need to spend more time in prayer!
Anonymous said…
So proud of my insightful grand daughter! I sometimes think I will post something for you, maybe inspirational, but I fall short.
Gm E

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