One of my goals for Purposeful Homemaking in 2013 is to present you with a godly mentor once a month. My prayer is that by having these women share a topic from their heart you will be blessed and encouraged.
My first guest writer is Sue, a wife of 35 years, a mother of seven and a grandmother of three (with two more boys on the way)! Sue is a woman who is committed to prayer and I'm thankful she took the time to share a bit of that burden with us here on PH.
Please take a moment as she shares with us today about the topic of prayer.
Praying with Others
Prayer. It’s an appointment worth keeping! I had a mother who was committed to prayer. Many days when I got off the school bus and walked into our home, I would find my mom sitting with a few ladies praying around our kitchen table.Over the past several years, I have found a scheduled prayer time with friends to be one of the greatest blessings in my life! As we have journaled our requests and the way God has worked, to His glory, it has given me hope, encouragement and increased my faith.
Along with the other challenges in life, I have seven children and three grandchildren (with two more on the way) so as you can imagine, I need to do a lot of praying! But if I could go back, praying with friends would be a commitment I would have made much earlier in life. And so, I strongly encourage you to consider setting aside a regular time to pray with friends.
For me, my prayer journey with others began in a school Mom’s Prayer Group where we would gather weekly for prayer. Yes, we prayed for the school, but we also shared requests on our hearts and committed them to prayer.
After our children began graduating, we desired to continue the precious relationships we had found and the heartbeat we had to hold each other up in prayer. We wanted God’s will, for His honor and glory, in our lives and families.
It began with just three of us, committed to praying together one morning a week, for just an hour or so and then continuing to pray for each other throughout the week. We have seen amazing answers to prayer.
If you can find one friend and a time that works, no matter how early or late, then you have an appointment worth keeping. Be creative! As ladies, we make time for scrapbooking, lunch, shopping, and so much more, so be sure to add time for prayer! (*note from Becky: I think this is such a good idea and some of us with young children at home find it harder to leave the house, but we can always set up a time once a week during our childrens' nap time to pray on the phone with a friend. Thanks for the suggestion, Sue!)Recently the women at our church divided into prayer groups, called “Open Hearts”. Our pastor’s wife challenged us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) in this commitment to pray. Several ladies have opened their homes twice a month at different times throughout the week in order to facilitate this ministry. This time of prayer among the ladies has resulted in unbelievable blessing!
How to Pray
Very simply, Christ instructed us how to pray in Matthew 6, in the familiar passage known as "The Lord’s Prayer”. Jesus repeats, “When you pray…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this…” Pray! And while praying with others is powerful, we do not need a group. The passage continues with, “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to the Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
What greater reward than to have God’s will done in our homes and hearts! In Matthew 18:19, Jesus says, “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
As believers, God has given us a relationship with Him as our Father, the many promises in the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and instruction on how to pray. Additionally, one book I have found to be extremely helpful in the area of effectual prayer is Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds by Beth Moore.To encourage you, I'd like to share some of the answers to prayer that we have seen as we have prayed for God’s will for our families.
- One family had their daughter accepted into medical school when all odds were against her. While in medical school, she failed a course and it seemed like a setback to us, however, God used this “extra’ time to allow her to meet her future husband. This Christian couple were recently married and the young wife is able to continue in medical school with a life testimony of our Lord’s leading.
- While praying for God’s name to be made known in our community, a local high school Bible study was started and an opportunity was made for 50 Bibles to be given out along with the gospel presentation with each one.
- A young lady was able to raise support for an extensive mission trip. She was also able to have a ministry opportunity on a local college campus. God worked through an injury and an unruly roommate situation to allow those girls to seek Him.
- Within minutes of our prayer, God intervened on the behalf of a son who was in a seemingly hopeless worldly situation. The response of his friend opened his eyes to the truth regarding their friendship and this young man is back in Bible study and seeking the Lord.
- Another young man, trying to find his way as a young adult, was given a chance at a coveted job and was chosen out of a long line of applicants and then within a year, was married in a God-honoring ceremony.
- A husband whose job was almost eliminated rejoiced in his job being spared.
- Monies were amazingly provided for a Christian college student allowing them to graduate debt-free!
- A family vacation at a Christian camp to celebrate a 35th year anniversary came together for the entire family, including a son we have been praying for. “Great is thy faithfulness” was playing in the background while reservations were being made.
- The Lord placed a couple in a much needed ministry area in the church.
- A mother, whose adult son with a serious medical issue, had been estranged and not speaking to her. They now have a wonderful relationship and she is praising God that He changed her too. The son is also thanking us for our prayers.
- Salvation and growth in a husband’s life. (We were blessed to witness his baptism!)
The commitment and accountability to pray with and for friends has been a turning point in my prayer life. The joy of sharing each other’s burdens in prayer and desiring God’s will has grown my faith and given me great hope and encouragement.
In sharing the great blessing of prayer in my life, it is my hope that you will find a like-minded sister in Christ and make prayer a priority in the time you spend together.
You will be praising God for this provision in your life. Praying with friends is a commitment worth keeping! "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. " James 4:16 “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory because of your faithful love, because of your Truth.” Psalm 115:1
Sue surrounded by her precious family
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