I can confidently stand in front of you and say there is nothing that can make you feel miles high or inches small than the words people use when they talk to you (or when you talk to yourself). Death and life, my friends! Death. And. Life.
Recently I experienced this yet again through the power of the words my friend chose to pray over me.
I had one of those days at work where nothing went wrong, but nothing went quite right either. I felt like a forgotten servant whose sole job was to be walked on.
More than just problems at work, I felt overwhelmed with my upcoming internship. I was worried about money. I was worried about things that might happen relationally over the 10 month internship.
WORRY. WORRY. WORRY.
I'm not sure if my friend saw it in my eyes. Or God prompted him to pray for me, but he walked right over and asked if he could pray for me. He offered prayer freely.
While I don't remember exactly what Luke said. I can tell that you it was filled with love and vision. Through his prayer he reminded me exactly who I belong to and why that was more than enough of a reason to walk confidently.
It was quick. No fancy "Bible-Sounding" words were used. It was simply a youth pastor praying over a volunteer who is about to make a scary leap of faith. But BOY! Did God move in such a cool way.
Through my friend's prayer, I was reminded of a Bible Verse in 2nd Timothy (2:13.. to be exact). This verse has gotten me through a lot of hard times, but only in the sense that I was going to be okay in the future.
When I was filled with anxiety I would remind myself that God would never let me leave His wonderful hand. It was a safety net. A promise verse to make me feel better.
My friend thanked God for the life that I had already lived and he thanked God for His faithfulness in my life up to this point.
That verse is not just a safety net for the future (thank you Jesus!), but a reminder of God's character in the past. He always does what He says He is going to do.
And DANG! I'm thankful for that. And thankful for great friends who are willing to pray. Do yourself and your friends a favor. Always offer prayer freely.
I went to a conference (I really wish that I could tell you which one it was), but the intro to the speaker's talk has stuck with me forever.
In a giant auditorium the speaker walks out on stage and says stand up if:
-your favorite color is red
-you hate spiders
-you have grandkids
-you failed a class in college
It was needless to say, a little bit awkward. Making eye contact with people that you allegedly had something in common with. Nodding heads and smiling. But then she said it:
Stand up if you or someone you know has battled cancer.
The room got smaller, the air got thinner, and God's presence became way more tangible. Amazing how the only thing that connected all of us was pain, was the understanding of sometimes life gets rough and God is the only thing to keep us afloat. It was that moment that I was reminded how vital community could be. That other people have felt what I have felt, and most likely very much more.
Facebook is a powerful prayer tool. Through an instant message, a Facebook status or a prayer group, prayer requests can be easily communicated. And I got a message from my aunt today.
My anxiety makes me feel like throwing up a lot. This was one of those times. I had been called a prayer warrior before...and thought very little of it. But, over this last winter break I have been attempting to grow closer to God through prayer. I've been reading this book. And woah did that term have a whole new meeting.
How comforting to know that God already cares deeply about the people we care about--He delights in them.
"Yahweh your God is among you,
And, we can be confident that God delights in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. You know what else we can be confident of? God hears us and then He acts.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
So while I don't know how my aunt's tests will go, I know that I can be 100% confident that God is listening to me pray for her and He will act according to His perfect will. But I am so comforted that I get to talk to God as often as I would like. I can make my concerns, wants, needs, questions, all known to God--and He answers them.
Aunt Tanya is a wonderful woman with Christ so present in her daily life. Coming from a family who isn't known for believing in the Bible, she has a strong head on her shoulders and models God's characteristics wherever she goes. Why do bad things happen to good people? I don't know. But ask God... He knows. And He will listen to your questions, and answer them.
Join me in prayer for Aunty T?
RJ & Tanya and their three amazing girls. Olyvia (16), Presley (7)
and Amber (28).