Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prayer Pact

The power of prayer is amazing. Just the concept of prayer is mind blowing. We can talk to GOD, almighty creator of everything, anytime and it's called prayer. And when two or more are gathered in prayer, it's exponential. Some days I'll just thank God for prayer, plain and simple.

I keep a prayer journal. It's full of raw, honest, prayers. I have been keeping a prayer journal for several years, so I actually have several notebooks full of prayers. I noticed that there is at least one theme that I've been praying about for a couple of years. They are prayers for myself, for something I desire. Recently I had a conversation with a friend where we discovered we have both been praying similar prayers for ourselves for that something we desire. And we discussed how redundant it seemed and that we felt a little selfish for it. So I proposed a pact. Beginning that day I started praying for her for that desire specifically and she started praying for me for that. We both felt it was easier to pray for each other for that desire instead of always praying for ourselves. And after a few days we shared what we noticed.

What we noticed was mostly little shifts in perceptions. We were both having insights we hadn't had before in the area of this desire. Neither of us got an immediate concrete result. Yet we knew the pact was working. We were thinking in unprecendented ways and realizing deeper internal beliefs that affected our outward behavior. After the first couple of weeks I noticed my prayers for her were less intentional and more like random thoughts and quick little prayers.

Then I got this message from my friend, Stacie, on FaceBook:
"I'll be praying" sounds good but when daily stuff takes my mind of it, it gets lost sometimes. I want to try to make my prayers deliberate and am going to use my blog to do so. Wanna join me? ;)"

I was immediately inspired! And Stacie has written some awesome blog posts since then. You can check them out at However, all my initial inspiration has faded momentarily. I know it will return. I've just been distracted. But in the meantime, something I can always offer is a good ol' plain ol' prayer. And in God's eyes, there is nothing mundane about it. He listens always. He is good all the time. Let us pray:

"Lord, thank You for the gift of prayer. Thank you for giving us such a simple way to engage You and Your Holy Spirit. When I pray, I can acknowledge You for Who You ARE and know You created me and love me. I can confess anything I have in my life I know does not honor You and know You forgive me and love me. I can thank you for all Your blessings and know that You gave them because You love me. I can ask for whatever I think I want or need and know You hear me and love me. And prayer can be silence, filled with Your presence and basking in Your luscious love. And when I pray, I pray with faith in Your faithfulness. Amen."

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is Why

On Friday I got to witness a spontaneous and authentic precious moment. My friend Stacie is an artist and she co-organized an art show for Good Friday with another artist named Teresa. The focus was to show the connection between art & faith, and the creativity within each of us given by our Creator. The event took place at Compass Church in a suburb of Cincinnati. And given the context of the event, a Communion station was available. Stacie’s seven year old son, Sean, asked why it was there. I know Sean has seen people take Communion before. But when his dad, Rusty, explained that it was Good Friday, and taking Communion was a way of remembering that Jesus broke His body and spilled His blood for us, Sean was upset. In fact, Sean started to cry.

Stacie and Rusty are faith-full parents and they had told their two sons about Easter before. This seemed to be the first time it was all sinking in for seven year old Sean. Stacie and Rusty did not take this lightly and seized the moment to talk to Sean and answer his questions about Good Friday and Easter. It was getting close to 9 p.m. and the art show was winding down, but there were still lots of people around and other kids running, playing, and doing their best to create distractions. But Sean’s attention to his parents and their attention to him did not waver for at least 15 minutes while they had their intimate moment. I was not a part of their moment, but for a few sweet minutes I was within earshot. My heart swelled with gratitude for the moment and God’s love.

Sean was having a hard time understanding how Jesus could have come back to life and that He still lives. Stacie and Rusty told him it was normal to struggle with that concept. They explained that is how faith works. It takes a leap of faith for anyone to accept that as truth. No matter how old a person is, the idea of a human being tortured and killed, yet rising from the dead, and his burial tomb being found empty seems unreal. Adding to that the fact that it ALL happened because God’s love for us is deeper than any love we can experience from any other human. It’s a lot to grasp. Yet millions of people all over the world from all sorts of backgrounds, ages, levels of intelligence and variety of talents have taken that leap of faith and we are all living proof of God’s perfect truth and grace.

Sean’s honest reaction to the news of Good Friday and Easter was embraced and addressed by his biological mother and father. The bible tells us that our Heavenly Father rejoices over us and delights in us. I know God was rejoicing over Sean’s questions and delighting in Stacie & Rusty’s surrender to the moment. It’s in these moments where I am blessed to be a witness that I KNOW my Redeemer Lives! And this precious moment I just shared? THIS IS WHY I have faith and praise God’s perfect truth and grace.