I have learned a lot from people that God has put in my life about who God is. Each time I think that I am at a stand still on what I am learning about God and am wondering what new thing I could learn…then God provides me with another teacher, or another insight into his word that I have never seen before.
I am very grateful for this…it keeps me growing as a Christian. The thing is to keep growing as a Christian you have to keep your focus on the Lord and keep looking to grow.
Well, for my latest growth, God has given me two new teachers, one through blogging and another through attending a new church. Interestingly the areas of growth have to do with learning more about who Jesus and the disciples were as Jewish people. More about the Jewish culture that they lived in.
My new Pastor and my other teacher both speak about the Kingdom of Heaven being here which Jesus spoke about. I find this really interesting.
Well in attending a Contagious Discipleship class with my new Pastor as a leader he gave us an assignment. We were given a sheet of paper with each day of the month on it, and a blank spot next to it. Our assignment was to call friends and relatives and others that we know, and tell them that they are on our prayer list for the day, and ask them if we can pray for them in any way.
Strangely, the Pastor knew what would often happen…people would say to pray for their children or someone else that they knew. It would take a bit of work to find out what the person actually was concerned about and needed prayer for themselves. It would probably be really awkward. When I did call someone it was very awkward, they said that it was too sudden.
Well, my method of prayer has always been to listen whenever I am talking to someone and either mentally add them to my prayer list for that matter, or to tell them that I would pray for them about that (whatever it was).
This has always worked for me and I have felt it was very effective. While it may have been effective as prayer is…God wanted to teach me that there is something very important that I didn’t realize about the people I was praying for and people in general.
When you tell a person that you will pray for them…they don’t really take it seriously. They mentally say, “yeah, that’s nice.” but then they don’t really take it seriously.
I found this out because while I was at our County Fair working in a club booth a lady walked up and was talking to us…during the course of the conversation it came out that she had cancer and was told that she only had up to five years to live. She told us that the Doctors had all done everything that the could for her and it was spread through her body now. The lady had such a matter of fact manner about the whole thing. My heart went out to her and I immediately told her that Doctors are going by statistics and that only God knows how many breaths she has left in her body, and how many days on this earth. Then for some reason, I found myself telling her that I would like to pray with her. I jumped up and went around to her side of the booth, and put my arm over her shoulder…she was saying, “yeah, there are a lot of prayers, and a lot of people are praying…” I told her, “No, I want to pray with you now, is that okay?”
She seemed shocked, and said, “what? now?” I said, “yes, okay?” She said, “okay”. We bowed our heads together and I said a short prayer for her.
Now I am here to tell you…I am not a person who jumps up and prays in public with strangers….it is totally not me. I am okay with praying by myself, and in small groups that I am studying with…but I have never in my life offered to pray in public with a complete stranger before. I have told them that I would pray about something, but never have I offered to pray in such a situation.
A couple days went by, and I found myself praying again with a different lady. All I can say is that the Holy Spirit really felt it was time for me to understand that sometimes saying that you will pray about something is not enough, it is not meaningful to the person you are saying it to. Many people take it as an insincere way for someone to “blow off” an uncomfortable subject or moment.
I never truly realized this before. I always thought that telling a person you would pray for them really was taken in the spirit in which it was given. I have always been diligent to pray when I said that I would. This was a really important lesson in prayer for me and another step forward in my prayer life.
God is so good to me. I love it when I learn something new about my Lord…don’t you?