2004-02-21 - Humbled for a Prayer Journey
Hi My Friends,
God uses us best in our weakness, when we have been humbled. I know for myself, that I would love to go almost anywhere in the world as a pastor or missionary. The one place where I don't want to go is New Orleans. It's because I grew up here. It's been a lifetime of detention.
As a child, It wan't very much fun to have a drunk adult step on your hand, while you were trying to pick up a (worthless) doubloon (a Spanish coin) at Mardi Gras, all because the adult wanted the doubloon. In elementary school, classified as a slow learner, it was not fun to be in a self-contained Special Education class, where behavior-disordered students did everything to disrupt you, while you struggled to do your school work. As a child needing help because of the students around you, you would go to the teacher and tell her what was happening, and she would say "I never saw it."
Later in high school, it wasn't fun to be punched in my artificial eye by a student who, out of spite, just wanted to see if he could crack it. This same student even had the nerve to send a friend of his over to my house, just to find out if he had cracked my eye. It's not fun being beaten up by other students for their pleasure, getting into trouble because of these kids, blamed for what happened and given detention, behavior reports, being expelled. I was a disabled person, and I could not defend myself. I would end up in the disciplinarian's office with a bloody nose and black eye, crying. I got into trouble for fighting, when I didn't do anything, and the person who gave be the bloody nose and black eye wasn't even scratched and didn't really get into trouble. This encouraged others to perpetuate this behavior and to believe they could do it and get away with it as well -- and yes, they did.
It has not been fun having Epilepsy ever since age 18 months, or having a brain tumor removed at age 16, with a 50% chance of death. There is so much that I have been through that I could have done without, but God brought me through it, and He used it to humble me. Without these things, I would have had too much pride in myself that I made it by myself, and that I did it all alone, when in fact, God was with there with me every step of the way, bringing me through it. He allowed me to be sifted, to cause me to shine for Him.
On that note, I want to tell you about doing Prayer Journeys. A group of my Christian friends from Church, our pastor and myself get together once a week, and we choose a street in the neighborhood to do our Prayer Journey. We pray, thanking God for sending us out, and ask him to speak through us and make us bold witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone we may meet. Then we go to the street. Usually four people work one street, depending it's length. If it's long, then eight people work a street. Four people go to each end of the street and work their way from the other direction, till we all meet. Two people start on one side of the street, stopping and praying for the occupants of each house, as they walk down the street. As we are praying, we look for prayer needs such as praying for a family, if we see kids or kids toys outside, or a lot of cars in the drive. We thank God for providing for the people, and ask Him to reveal himself to them in their need for life in Him and salvation, as we are all sinners and lost without Christ.
As we are praying, some people come outside, curious to find out what we are doing, standing out on the sidewalk in front of their home. We share that we are from the local church and that we are in the community, praying for the people. We ask if there is any specific prayer need that we can pray with them for. We get the opportunity to establish a friendship with these people, and also the opportunity to share Jesus Christ with them. Many times, I have met people I knew from my earlier life in Grade School or work. This has brought up excellent opportunities for me to share Jesus Christ in Love with people who have spitefully beaten me up. I am able to return Jesus' Love for the hurt that I may have received in the past. These people are very receptive to talking to me, for they remember me from school. Some of them, I don't actually remember myself. I didn't want to remember them, and that's why God sent me to them.
As I am humbled through my past, and obedient to God, these individuals are humbled as well. Here is where God can best use me to show His compassion for the lost individuals through the Gospel.
I am humbled when I meet a person that Satan used to sift me. These individuals are humbled by their past sin, and there in our weakness, God is strong, and can best show His love and compassion in the Gospel message to these individuals. I love them, in spite of what they may have done to me, and I don't have to tell them of their sin. I just have to tell them that Jesus loves them and wants to set them free from it, to life in Him.
Ask yourself today about those things in your life that seem to be, or have been , a hindrance at anytime in your life. Has God used these things to polish your life? Do you see where God is working in your life today? Is he working in your life to use you as his servant, to bring Him Glory through the spreading of the Gospel message?
E-mail me, at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell me what God is doing in your life today!
God bless you, my friends.
Rob - I want my life just to be for the glory of God.