BECOMING A WOMAN OF PRAYER-Online Study
Invitation to Intimacy
(Becoming A Woman Of Prayer, © Cynthia Heald, June 2005. Used by permission of NavPress, all rights reserved. www.navpress.com )
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
JEREMIAH 33:3, NIV
I remember the day clearly. It was a warm summer day in 2008 and we were on our way to take my daughter to her weekly dance lessons. I had just phoned (this was before the cell phone law) and left a message to my friend Stephanie to ask if she and her kids wanted to hang out later. My older two kids had been arguing in the back row of our suburban over a water bottle and after hanging up the phone I recall telling them to "cut it out!" Almost immediately after, my oldest cries out, "Mooooooooommmmmmm! She woooon't give it to meeeeee!" So, like any gentle, quiet spirit like myself (ahem...not), I whipped my head around to yell out, "Would you JUST give him the water bottle!!!"
And then it happened.
My right tires went off the road next to our local lake and we were at a severe angle at 35 mph and couldn't pull out of it. Our large and seemingly indestructible vehicle scraped along the side of a tree, simultaneously blowing out each of the right passenger windows tossing bits of glass throughout the car until we stopped approximately 6 inches short of a power pole. The kids were freaking out, my daughter's face was bleeding, my heart felt like it was beating in my throat and my hands were trembling. "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh...." was all I could utter.
A CDF (California Department of Forestry) worker happened to be at the lake that day and immediately ran over to help. Then my phone rang, my hands and voice were shaking so hard I'm surprised I could manage to open it up and squeak out, "hello?". It was my friend returning my call. I told her what happened and after a chuckle, she said, "oh no, really? I'll be right there..." Not only did she show up, she brought her husband and both their cars and extra car seats. She and her husband drove us down to the hospital so my daughter, Catie, could have her nose laceration glued up. They waited with us, took us to lunch, spent time with us til my husband could meet up with us. I remember feeling so taken care of and loved by my friend that day. Having an unexpected shock and immediate need- she came. I knew she was a great friend before but you see, I had merely called her for fellowship and in my need she revealed her character and love for me in how she responded. I believe with everything in me that, on the day of the accident, God had that tree there to keep us from rolling, that the timing of the accident prevented us from hitting another tree head on, that the CDF and my dear friend were available to me in a tangible way because of God's provision. He revealed Himself in all of it.
When I read the verse listed in Jeremiah 33:3 as God says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” God is promising us that when we pray and call out, He will show up, that we don't need to leave a message because he HEARS and WILL respond. He promises that HE WILL tell (us) great and unsearchable things (we) do not know, revealing His character and unwavering love for us!
"What if God does not demand prayer as much as gives prayer? What if God wants prayer in order to satisfy us? What if prayer is a means of God nourishing, restoring, healing, converting us? Suppose prayer is primarily allowing ourselves to be loved, addressed and claimed by God. What if praying means opening ourselves to the gift of God’s own self and presence? What if our part in prayer is primarily letting God be giver? Suppose prayer is not a duty but the opportunity to experience healing and transforming love?
This chapter is all about God calling us into His presence. He "stands at the door and knocks". He invites us to spend time with himself and is pleased when we, as his children, fellowship with Him.
In the book, Cynthia shares:
"Understanding that God wants to impart spiritual strength and refreshment encourages me to feel that I don’t have to come with a full agenda when I meet with God. He has invited me — and so I respond by choosing to answer His request for fellowship.How good it is to view prayer as an opportunity to receive from the Lord and as a time to “yield a sweet savour unto God.” "(2)
He wants us, He listens to us and wants to reveal more of His character, grace and faithfulness to us. He created us, delights in us and is glorified when we delight in him.
This weeks challenge: post this verse somewhere you'll have opportunity to read it everyday. That may be on your fridge, your bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car. Meditate on this verse as you spend time with your God and your Savior. Pray and ask God to reveal more of himself to you this week. Breathe in this promise offering your time and worship to our God as a "sweet aroma" and offering unto Him.
He invites you.
Heavenly Father, you are faithful and your words are true! Thank you for loving me so much that you made a way for us to have a relationship through your son, Jesus. Thank you God that you give us your Spirit and you give us prayer so we may know you more, so we can talk with you and so we can hear from you. Forgive me for underestimating the magnitude of your love for me. Forgive me for wasting my time, years really, that could have been spent with you. Lord, I want to know you more.
In your son's precious name,
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(1-2) Becoming A Woman Of Prayer, © Cynthia Heald, June 2005. Used by permission of NavPress, all rights reserved. www.navpress.com