Sunday, April 09, 2006

40 Days of Prayer (days 19-20)

***Day 19
March 23, 2006

Father, as I kneel this morning, I am almost without words. Yesterday’s prayer was so intense, so all-consuming, that it, even unspoken, continued on throughout the day and into the night. And I wonder this morning, did Jesus pray intensely - every day? We know that His prayer times were lengthy and passionate, but did they take place every day, or only at those times that we read of His “getting away”? I rather seem to think of His “intense” prayers coming at certain times, and His “conversing” with You came daily - and even continually.

And so, my prayer this morning is not as intense, but still coming from the same depth of heart…

After attending Bible study twice yesterday, I am led to pray for our churches. (Explanation: We are a part of a 3-point charge or circuit.) I pray for the individuals within these three churches - they are so different. The churches themselves are different and the people are different. The atmosphere of each of the Bible studies is different - each going off in their own special and distinct way.

I pray for (names), visualizing each face and each persons’ families and situations. I lift up where each of them “come from” - their backgrounds and the particular “baggage” each brings. And “baggage” is not always a “bad” thing, for our “baggage” carries our belongings - both good and bad; our memories, both good and bad, and our possessions, both good and bad. And I lift these up to You.

I pray, Father, for these churches. Those seemingly “sheep without shepherds” and those seemingly “shepherds without sheep.” There’s something wrong with this picture. What would You have us do about this, Lord? Where do we (Joe and I) need to be? I came from one of them, he came from another of them, and we’re equally at home in either of them - where would You have us be? And what would You have us do?

Father, I pray for one this morning who has suffered the loss of her husband. She is elderly herself, but a strong woman. As the youngest in a huge family, with many (many) brothers and sisters, she has endured many a loss in her life - even losing another husband which left her with a young child to raise alone. But it still hurts - I know it must. I have not carried the load she has carried, but I know it must still hurt, each and every time.

Father, what would You have us do for her? How can we best fill her needs? There are all the “things” we do - the food, the flowers, the memorial gifts, the visitation and support at the graveside. But how can we best fill her needs? Father, we pray for “strength sufficient for the day” and even beyond. And open our eyes, Lord, that we may see where You would have us serve.

I come again, boldly, bringing petitions from days past - family, children, husband, personal direction, the sickness of strangers, and the pains of my own heart. I pray for healing Lord, I pray for definite answers, and I pray for bold and blazing directives. And above all, I pray that Your Kingdom may come upon the earth. That Your kingdom may come, and Your Will may be done, on earth as it is in heaven, I pray saying, “Maybe today, Lord, maybe today…”


***Day 20
March 24, 2006

I begin my prayers today, not on my knees as I have been “called” to do this Lenten season, but in the kitchen preparing food for the family that I prayed for yesterday. And I pray…

Father I lift up this family. As I (and many others) are preparing food, may this “tending to their bodies” be a tending to their souls as well. It is at times such as these Father, that bring out our “Martha” tendencies. I’m sure, in thinking of her, that she would have been the one to take food to the needy - that was her calling; her gift. And it is our “calling” as well.

Paul taught us so much about giving, Lord. He went about spreading the Gospel, but he also taught that by giving, we become brothers and sisters. He saw how giving creates a bond between believers - how it makes us “one” with each other.

And God, I know how it feels to be “given to.” I’ve carried food to families all my life, but it wasn’t until the death of my Mother, and then my Dad, that opened my eyes to what really takes place.

If one is ever on the receiving end of this type of care, then they know what it really means. It’s so much more than the food; it’s the sharing with the soul that eases the pain; it’s the division of the weight that makes it lighter to carry. And it’s the love of the neighbor that teaches Divine Love.

God, as we take the food today, may we be share Your Love by meeting the physical needs of this family. This is our calling…

May we serve, in Jesus’ name - Amen.


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