“Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what he did for me: For I cried to Him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But He listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Blessed be God who did not turn away when I was praying, and did not refuse me his kindness and love.” Psalm 66:16-20
Today, for the first time in weeks, I dialed in to The Prayer Cafe. What is The Prayer Cafe? It is a 20 minute group prayer hosted by The Christian Mompreneur Network. Though I am not a Mom (at least of any human children), I am seeking to build my own home-based business–in plural, actually. And, while, yes, I hope that at least one of these business ventures succeeds well enough to sustain Mom and I and our menagerie of fur and feather babies, I also hope that at least one of these business ventures will succeed well enough that I can also give back to the community.
And therein lies the truth of where I’ve been at fault.
I started this blog post to talk about prayer and how my soul has been thirsting for this 20 minutes each week of prayer and fellowship with these ladies–ladies I have never met face-to-face but whom I have grown to love very much. I have been thirsting, feeling dried up and maybe a little hopeless inside. I posted a prayer request because of all the financial difficulties I’ve been assaulted with of late–November was a rough month all around with 3 major losses of beloved fur and feather babies, and the usual stress of re-applying for emergency mortgage assistance until I can finally get back on my feet financially. The end of that first paragraph was an “Aha!” moment. The host of The Prayer Cafe posted something afterwards to me about the biblical truth of “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of your needs will be met.” He spoke to her heart. And He just spoke to mine.
Did I not just type it the other way around? Did I not just type about giving back to the community AFTER the blurb about my own needs? I’m too focused on my own problems instead of giving them up to God. Instead of letting Him take control of my life. And so, He gave my friend the wisdom to post this reminder of His love, and His command, to seek Him FIRST. It’s not about me. It’s about Him. And always has been.
What does He want for me? (Note: that’s FOR me, not FROM me…) What are His plans for my life? Have I ever stopped to ask…and stayed long enough to listen to my heart, the voice of God speaking within it? Usually I run away from the answer out of fear, out of that lack of trust that I blogged about last week. I’m afraid to “Let go and let God”. Afraid that some part of me is not worthy of such goodness. That’s what comes from growing up with alcoholism and abuse but I can only blame others, perhaps, for the first 18 years of my life; what I’ve done or experienced since is on me. And I am choosing to hand the reins over to the God of my consciousness, a God of love.
Does that mean that hard times are going to miraculously stop happening? No. He doesn’t promise us smooth sailing, just a safe landing at the end of it all. He promises to love us, to see us safely through all of life’s challenges. If only we will place our trust in Him. And praise Him for every minute thing we have–both good and bad, because He can use all things to make our lives richer, better, in the long run.
I needed prayer today. I need prayer everyday. We all do. But, in our modern world, where faith in God is often exploited and derided, we neglect our spiritual life. We don’t have time, we tell ourselves. We don’t have the money to give at church because food is scarce or the bills need paying, etc. We walk around with this scarcity mindset, a mindset that only sets us up to attract more of the same. We start neglecting everyone and everything that matters most to us, pushing aside precious moments–time that we can never get back, pushing aside even our most basic needs, pushing aside God. When He is the answer to all of this. Taking those 20 minutes or so today to indulge in this much-needed rest with Him in fellowship and prayer was just what the doctor ordered. I feel more refreshed and at peace. And, in the end, that’s what we’re all searching for. His peace.
May God bless you & keep you!