The privilege of prayer with brothers and sisters in Christ….in parking lots as good byes are said. In large ballrooms at conferences and retreats. Pool side with friends. Bedside with children. Around a table at Bible study. Over the phone or Skype.
It is part of my life style. It is intertwined part of who I am. When I was a younger woman I yearned for the comfort and support of prayer. I prayed but I didn’t seem have the connection I observed in others.
There was that day when I left home in the big old brown pick up, left my baby with a trusted friend and did not know when I would return. I had to get away to find my way. I had a commentary book on Romans. I had my Bible and as always a stack of books with me. After pulling into a state park in southern Georgia or did I cross the line into Alabama, I crawled into the truck bed and settled in. I opened the commentary and the Word. And He spoke to me through those ancient timeless words.
I went home after getting as far as chapter 12. I was renewed. It was the beginning of maturity for me. No more milk.
Fast forward to the Naval Postgraduate School. I was on the phone passing along a prayer request. There were a lot of those, mostly related to troubled pregnancies. We women were that age; our husbands were that rank that allowed them to be attending the school. It was a happy place except when a miscarriage occurred. And a glorious place when miracles happened.
She was a woman whose words spilled out like honey, honey of His words. She suggested we pray right then…on the phone! I declare. I never. And I do mean I never. I never prayed on the phone. It never occurred to me. But I was trapped. You see, I was the coordinator of women’s Bible studies and that included the prayer chain. Ah, the responsibility of leadership.
Being a woman sensitive to the Spirit and to my hesitation, she offerd to go first. It was a life changing call for me.
Fast forward again about 20 years. Meeting every weekday morning for prayer was the prelude to a season of sorrow and sharpening. We were in a foreign land and about to enter a battle like no other. I was thankful for the years of tutelage in prayer.
Recalling these markers and others He has given me along my journey is part of transition as I enter into a new season in a new place. Change is inevidable, undeniable. The anticiaption of the days ahead brings me a sense of approaching satifaction and security. It is not only the knowing He is there and that He hears me; it is the comfort and support of a well established reliable relationship that has come to truly depend on Him…to listen, to hear and to respond. The yearning has not changed only deepened. The connecting has happened. Does that meaning I am growing and maturing? Yes, it does. He stuck with me through the years even as I mumbled and bumbled my way through. He has tutored me in the ways of the body. He has loved me well.
The privilege of prayer with brothers and sisters in Christ is sweeter than ever.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16