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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Prayer Garden

A little over two weeks since the election. The amount of time it takes most New Year's resolutions to fall by the wayside. How are you doing?

My prayers have slacked a bit. Could be the holidays. More likely, I'm not used to endurance prayers.

When I wrote Daughter of Anasca, I was studying prayer as taught by Jim Cymbala of the Mormon Tabernacle*. If you didn't see it in the story, you weren't paying attention.

Now I'm reading Destined for the Throne by Paul Billheimer, originally published in 1975, revised in 1996. Hardly new thoughts, but new to me. I don't know that I agree with all the conclusions but I do agree - emphatically - that intercessory prayer matters, and the state of our world is a sad reflection of how seldom and how poorly Christians pray.

When God doesn't answer my prayer of the morning by dinner, I'm inclined to believe he didn't hear me. I forget that God is a God of timing, not just time. His timing is perfect, and his plans always blossom at the perfect moment.

I have a medicine bag given to me by a former boss with a feather bead on it. I was told certain tribes believe their prayers are carried to heaven on smoke and feathers, and the bead is the symbol of those prayers. While that is a beautiful image, my prayers aren't smoke that vanishes. They have substance.

TT: The "search" feature on this blog stinks. I know I've written about this before (House of Prayer), but it won't pull it up. I had to go straight to Google, and found results in the top five.

Prayer builds on itself. Choose your image, or perhaps the image changes depending on the prayer. Prayers become a house, a wall, a ladder. Or a garden. I like the garden idea. Some prayer is the hardscaping, some the plants, some the fertilizer. What if my prayers really do create a garden in heaven, a place I will one day walk, and recognize, and rejoice over? If that happens, I want that garden to be as big and beautiful as I can make it, not a tiny, feeble chicken-scratch patch of dust.

I decided before the election to pray. I haven't changed my mind. I don't stop eating because I miss one meal, and I won't stop praying if I miss one day. That prayer garden means too much, and my world needs those prayers too badly.

If I'm hearing mainstream Christian media clearly, and it's mostly what I listen to, this urge to return to prayer is something God is telling us to do. It's showing up in too many places as the exact same message to think otherwise. We are God's church, and his Spirit calls us to oneness. Is it too hard to believe that oneness should be in purpose first, i.e. to turn to God and pray for a change in the hearts of his people and the unsaved?

Pray, Believer. Pray for God to call us to oneness, as he is one. Pray that he limits the evil that runs so rampant, and strengthens his children to produce good fruit in accordance with his will. Pray that demons are bound, and their prisoners are set free in Christ. Those are my top prayers.

May God bless you and keep you and give you peace.

Keep the faith.

*A friend pointed out I meant "Brooklyn Tabernacle." Yep. That's the one I meant. Hard day, folks.

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