Wednesday, September 25, 2013

pray without ceasing

I will be the first to admit that I don't always pray without ceasing.  However, this past January when I read the "Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson, I began to pray bold audacious prayers.  I prayed for three very specific things.  However, I didn't realize that in praying for those three things, I was saying, "I trust YOU GOD, and I know that YOU will answer my prayers, as they all require YOUR divine intervention.

My first prayer was centered around us getting a bigger vehicle, so we wouldn't have to turn away anymore kids on Wednesday nights for youth group.  It was breaking my heart that week after week, we were having to turn kids away, as we didn't have enough room to take them all.  So I boldly began to pray without ceasing.  However, in my humanness, I now know that even when I "thought" I was praying without ceasing, I was putting limits on what HE was capable of doing for us.

My second prayer was for D to be blessed with a better job.  D was miserable in his job, and that in turn made our marriage, and our family life miserable.  Week after week we attended church, and smiled, when inside I think we all were dying just a little more as each day passed.  To be honest, I was praying that GOD would change him, as he was the one with the problem.  However, in May GOD captured my heart, and said, "let me change you, let me use you to get to him."  With that, I fully surrender, and so began this wild ride that we have been on ever since.

My third prayer, was probably the hardest one of the three.  As I in my little "thinking" and manipulation, and distrust for HIM "thought" that I would be in control of choosing where we would live.   At first I "thought" that HE was going to move us to a bigger home in our current town.  Then when D said that HE was open to going anywhere for a job, I began to pray that GOD would move us to GA so that we could live life with my brother and his family.  The very thought that GOD would move us there was so exciting.  I began to envision us living there, and just how great it would be.  As each day passed, my expectations grew more and more, and the more my expectations grew, the more HE was trying to tell me that "Hey Heather, um your not running this show, I am."  

I should say, and well I should know by now that when the great "I am" speaks, I must listen.  HE was letting me know that HE wouldn't answer my third prayer, until first I prayed without ceasing, meaning I put all of my trust in HIM that HE would do just that.  Second, I wouldn't "try" to manipulate anything, and I would wait patiently.... (huh?)  Third, I would wait patiently, and trust HIM fully.  

So there I was waiting, trusting, praying, crying, being brought to my knees daily.  It was killing me to know that I wasn't in control.  It was so hard for me to let go... and let GOD be in full control.  I was going on blind faith, and praying without ceasing, and trusting HIM that HE would bless us with the right home.  However, even when I "thought" I was trusting HIM fully, I was still "trying" to make things go the way I "thought" they should go.  

For days on end, I was crying, and packing up our home.  I was staging our home for new people to come in and view it for rent.  I was crying, and on my knees daily, and begging HIM to reveal to me HIS plans for our family.  Finally two Saturday's ago GOD allowed us to view a house in a town that I never would have imagined we would move to.  Well I should say at first I "thought" we would live there, but as soon as we saw what was available, we began to search for something "more."  However, what I am learning is that when HE has planned something for us, HE will make sure that I understand that HE is the one in control and not me.  

As we walked through the house, I could sense that this may indeed be the house for us to call "home."  However, GOD was through with me yet, HE had one more test of my faith that I needed to endure.  When we first tried to secure the house, someone came out of nowhere, and put down a years worth of rent on the place.  I was crushed, well devastated.  I was scared, worried, and cried my heart out to HIM.  D had just left for his 1st week at his new job, and we were homeless, and I was beginning to feel "hopeless."  Thankfully GOD knew that, and before I could cry anymore HE blessed us with that house.  HE made it so that the owners eyes were opened up to renting to us, and not the other person.  HE made it so that they would accept less money for rent from us, so that we wouldn't have to live for our house.  

Even as I sit here typing this all out, GOD has revealed even more to be about what my prayers have been.  I have even forgotten some of the things I have prayed for in the past.  I am learning that HE expects me to pray without ceasing.  I am learning that HE is waiting for me to surrender my thoughts, and let go.... and let HIM be the one in charge of my future.  I am learning that it is only through surrendering to HIM that HE can, will, and does, pour HIS favor and blessings all over me. 

Today I am thankful that I serve a GOD who saves, who loves me unconditionally.  I am thankful that HE answers each one of my cries for help, and HE answers every single one of my prayers that I have prayed without ceasing.  I am thankful that HE has made my life a living testament that HE is who HE says HE is, and HE does what HE says HE will do.  I am confident in my faith, as I have been humbled, and blessed by HIS unending love, mercy, and grace.

I pray today that you will seek HIM, and that you will pray without ceasing.  I pray today that HE will reveal HIMSELF to you in your life, so that you will know that it is HIM who is in control of your life.  I pray that you will make HIM your first priority, so that the rest of the pieces will fall in place when HE is first in your life.  I pray today that you will boldly go before the throne and pray without ceasing.  I pray that HE will bless you beyond measure for your obedience when you  pray without ceasing.


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