Friday, February 24, 2012

Am I asking?

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  Romans 8:26

I have to rely on the Spirit himself quite a bit.

I desire to be a prayer warrior, but I'm not yet.  

I know what it looks like, because I know those who are true champions of prayer.  

Some have been given a gift for prayer. 

My friend Gidget unknowingly preaches a sermon straight from God's Word as she intercedes for others...

Yvette's prayers could be praise songs or poetry and she doesn't even realize it.

Others have diligently practiced the discipline of prayer

Sweet Jeri diligently prays each day for the people in her prayer journal until there is a check mark or carefully described answer written next to the request. If ever I have a request that I want to be SURE will be lifted up to God, I ask Jeri.

They are my prayer heros.  

I have been convinced more and more that a major reason we in the Western church see so little movement of God is because we have asked so little of Him.  

In James God tells us we don't have because we don't ask...and when we do ask it tends to be with wrong motives.

The result is that although He is ALL POWERFUL, we are powerless.

So, I am striving--praying--to make my first response to be prayer.

God is so faithful when we ask in His will.

This past week I had my first panic attack in a long time.  Typically my response to the rapid pulse, the short breath, the trapped feeling is total self focus and an irresistible "flight" reaction.  

I call it my "Forrest Gump" feeling.  

I want to go out the front door and start running and not stop until I feel calm.  Because my responsibilities and prematurely aging knees prevent that form of relief, my mind and physiology begin a frenzied dance together until all problems are completely out of proportion and I feel like a wild animal trapped in a cage.

Beware of approach. (There's a reason they call it "flight or fight.")

The symptoms started the same old way

too many expectations

trying to please people who had decidedly different needs--that had to be met at the exact same time

no one is happy 

I'm not enough

the panic starts; I want to run.

Then the reminder: This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength."

I don't run.  

I don't spiral into a crazed animal.

I pray.

And He answers.  Not the instant calm I wanted, but the steady reminder to pray every time the adrenaline surged. 

He sent me calm people to surround me who mercifully did not notice that I was not calm.  

He gave me the affirming words of friends who didn't even realize I needed encouragement.

I had, because I asked.  

This morning the Spirit laid a friend very heavily on my heart.  I have prayed for her regularly, but not daily.

It had been a few days.  Today, I felt the need to pray for her, but didn't know why.  

Because I don't talk to her often, I sent her a text to let her know God was thinking of her and that I had prayed for her.  Immediately she responded to say thank you: As it turned out, her husband had an appointment today that was causing him to PANIC.  


I certainly know how to pray for that!

I am floored by the realization--again--that I depend on the Holy Spirit for EVERYTHING.  I can't even pray without Him.

At the same time I am THRILLED with the knowledge that when I depend on Him, I can do ANYTHING.


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