Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday: The Blessing of Friends Who Pray

It’s Thursday and I am thankful for the blessing of friends who pray. 

Life is beautiful but it can also be so hard, especially when you don’t know what’s around the bend. But if you have faith in God and continue praying to Him, you will be at peace in the midst of any storm. The Bible says in Isaiah 26:3, God will keep in "perfect peace" all who trust in Him, all whose thoughts are fixed on Him. GOD is willing and able to be your Provider, Protector and Navigator throughout your journey on Earth. God will even send people into your life who will pray for you, sometimes without you asking.

Such was the case when one of my friends who is a chaplain, we’ll call her GD, called me yesterday to pray. The conversation started with an update on how my first, 7-day fast from Facebook went and I told her that I completed the fast (and to my surprise, stuck to it for the entire 7 days) but I had not yet heard anything “spectacular” from God. Prior to my fast, I had shared with GD how I was expecting answers, like doubtless direction from God at the end of this fast—After all I was giving up my time on FACEBOOK! That’s serious stuff as Lord knows thousands if not millions of people in the entire world are addicted to that social networking site! 

I did tell GD how, after the initial 24 hours of my fast from Facebook, it was surprisingly easy to live without Facebook (yes, it IS possible) and I believe that while I did not hear something spectacular from God, my mental health improved (Lord knows the comparison game Facebook that can suck you in, full force, is something crazy) and I felt more at peace. During this time, I realized that I need to fast from Facebook more often which is a commitment I’m planning to make. I also shared with GD that while I did not hear “something spectacular” from God, I did receive reaffirmation through people and events that occurred during that week to reassure me that I am on the right path and that God does want me to do what He’s given me talents for (writing and photography) but I may need to make tents in the meantime. 

Allow me to explain what I mean by needing to “make tents”…When my job in Journalism did not work out, I spoke with one of my Christian mentors (we’ll call her JK) and expressed my disappointment in a shattered dream, frustration in not knowing when or where I'd work again, anxiety (because I have bills to pay) and doubt in what exactly God’s plan for my life would be (wondering whether or not my professional writing/publishing/photography dreams would become true) and to all of this, JK told me, “I am sorry about this shattered dream…Do not apologize for needing a job to pay your bills…the greatest Christian Writer made ends meet regularly through “tent-making” (Paul the Apostle). With every shattered dream—there is a better dream coming.” 

So I shared that advice from JK and GD agreed. She told me that even though I did not hear “something spectacular” from God after the conclusion of my fast from Facebook, God did reveal His will to me through the conversations and incidents that happened throughout the week to reaffirm this simple truth—I am exactly where God wants me to be right now in this life. And that made me happy because that is exactly where I want to be—in the center of God’s will for me. 

And then GD offered to pray for me. The exact words from the prayer, I do not remember but after the prayer, I recall feeling so much better and thankful for the blessing of friends like GD who pray for me—with or without me asking—because sometimes you cannot pray for yourself which is why the Bible tells us to pray for each other, in church we call this “intercessory prayer”. 

If you are at a point in your life when you do not have any family or friends to pray for you, there is HOPE because the Bible says that Jesus Christ is constantly interceding for us before the Father (God) which means He is praying for you! What a blessing I believe it is to have the SAVIOR of the WORLD (Jesus Christ) praying on behalf of His creation (you and me, humanity). What better person to have on your side than the One who has lived on this Earth and been through every human experience so that He has ultimate empathy and compassion for each of our unique situations? 

The New Living Translation of the Holy Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7 for us to, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” Yes, you read that right, there is a GOD who CARES about YOU! And He wants you to be saved and have the hope of eternal life, that’s why He sent you’re His Son Jesus Christ, who is now your Intercessor, to this Earth to live, die and be resurrected into eternal life so that we can have the hope that there is something better beyond this world...So that we could know that our story does NOT end with death because if we followed Jesus Christ when we were alive, we do have hope of eternal life. But that’s another post for another day! 

All I want to say at this point is to re-emphasize how grateful I am for the friends (and family) whom God has placed in my life to pray for me. I encourage you to invest in Bible-believing, Christ-following, praying friends because the benefits are eternal and while life can be hard, it will make your walk easier. 

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