Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prayer Workout

Started to write a status to post on my Facebook page and then realized it was way too long and would better serve as a blog post.
One of my hearts for the support-raising process is to develop community with the people I meet with, talk to, and interact with throughout this journey. Now is laying the foundation for later. It’s the whole point of support-raising: to have people who you know are emotionally invested in your work and are willing to be praying for you.
I’ve been studying prayer lately. Prayer is a key element of building community. My biggest question has always been: why pray if God already knows what you need and is already planning to provide for you?
I read a quote recently that answered this question well:
"One of our fundamental misunderstandings of spiritual maturity is thinking that it should result in self-sufficiency. It's the exact opposite. The goal isn't independence; the goal is codependence on God. Our desire for self-sufficiency is a subtle expression of our sinful nature. It's a desire to get to a place where we don't need God, don't need faith, and don't need to pray. We want God to provide more so we need Him less." --Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker.
     I don’t really understand much beyond that. I don’t know exactly what prayer does or what purpose it serves. All I know is, I like doing it. I like talking to Jesus. I like knowing I can run to Him whenever I want to or need to and He is ready and waiting and wants to hear whatever I have to say. Sometimes, He speaks back, whether it’s through scripture or a voice from the Spirit (sometimes the Spirit speaks scripture and then you really know it’s from God).
     Today, I spent the morning praying over the letters that I’m sending out to individuals. I prayed for each person. Sometimes I felt like the Lord would give me something specific. Sometimes it was just a prayer that the person would fall more in love with Jesus.
      I got half way through and I’m completely spent emotionally. (I have more sympathy for the disciples who fell asleep in Gethsemane). 
      Who would have thought prayer could be emotionally exhausting?
      The result of this exercise (and it really did feel like an emotional workout) is that I have a desire to know these people more. I want to know their hearts, what they’re thinking and what prayers they are uttering to Jesus. The result is I feel closer to these people and one of the desires of my heart is being fulfilled. Community is being developed.
      It begins with a prayer. And that is really exciting. 

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