Saturday, October 18, 2008

Prayer Bowls

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, " Romans 12:9-12

Stop and think for a moment about what it looks like to be devoted to prayer. Would you consider yourself a woman devoted to prayer? Before attending the True Woman conference in Schaumberg, IL last weekend, I would have said that I am quite serious about prayer. I was wrong. While Fern Nichols, founder of Moms in Touch International, shared her heart for prayer, God struck my heart with the realization that I am not on my knees nearly enough.

I am a woman who desires to leave a godly legacy and I am grateful to God for exposing an area that I have not invested in to it's fullest potential. "Prayer," said Nichols, "is an everlasting legacy, an eternal investment." Ian Bound said, "God shapes the world by prayer and prayers outlive the ones who pray them." My prayers will outlive me? Ok, help me understand this, I was thinking.

Enter the idea of a prayer bowl. Nichols held in her hand a beautiful cream ceramic bowl and asked us to think of one person for whom we had been praying. Now, imagine that your prayers are all in this bowl and that they are put in a secure place. At just the right moment, in God's perfect timing, He reaches into the bowl and pulls out a prayer and answers the heart of your prayer. Two days, two months or twenty years ago~

Yes, the tears were flowing. The sight in my mind of God safeguarding all my most intimate thoughts, questions, fears, doubts and hopes for both myself and others was breathtaking. I know there are some of you that have been on your knees for the salvation of a loved one, the mending of a broken relationship, a prodigal, and many others. Do not lose hope because God, at just the right time, will reach down into your bowl and pull out a prayer have the perfect answer.

Does it look just like we desire? Probably not, but I have found that God usually outdoes my hightest desire or by way of saying no has protected with His hand of mercy. We do not have because we do not ask. Have you heard this before? It does not say we do not have because God forgot. No, he says in Hebrews 13:5, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

I long to have a deeper more loving relationship with God my Father and I know that through prayer that is developed. I know that God is trustworthy and will work in the best interest of all that I lay at His feet. Even when I am no longer here, my prayer bowl will still be in a safe kept place next to the heart of my Father. I long to pray with a heart that longs for what God wants. Oh gracious Father, may I be found faithful in being a woman devoted to prayer. Thank you for being the kind of God who treasures the broken words of your children so much that You safeguard them over time and do not forget.

1 comment:

Willow said...

Wow. That is something that I have been "processing" a lot lately as well. I can't remember which missionary it was, but he prayed daily for the next five generations of his family. I also heard Mark Driscoll say that it is a fool who worries about the here and now, this weekend, this month, only, but rather it is a wise person who is praying for the next generation.

I am constantly amazed when God reveals to me a new area for me to embrace. This way we are raising our children will have generational blessings; and if our actions today can affect future generations than our prayers most certainly can.

Another story I read, I think in a book about prayer by Phillip Yancy, told of a man who came to Christ as an adult and felt the urge to go back to his childhood neighborhood and share with an elderly woman his news. When he did, she got all emotional, and revealed that she had been praying for his salvation for something like 20 years.

Makes me wonder why I'm not maxing out the capacity of my prayer bowl huh??

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