At the beginning of the year, the ladies of our church held their first bimonthly meeting for 2018. Oh how my heart yearns to share that I was there in attendance and had the time of my life.
However, this is one of those times when living with a chronic illness makes things down right difficult!
When it hurts beyond words.
I want to kick, scream and throw a two-year old temper tantrum, which I usually do!
I could go into great detail of the many reasons why I cannot attend these events, but it's sufficient to say that my symptoms interfere and my body will just not cooperate.
The meeting had already ended and I found myself lying in bed, scrolling through facebook when I stumbled upon the pictures from the evening!
As I scanned through the many different photos, I smiled, but I also felt a lump forming in my throat and tears beginning to slide down my cheeks.
I wrote the following comment under the picture shown below,
"I so wish I could have been there. I miss you all so much."
I've known the young lady in the picture (Savannah) for at least twenty years. I love her as a daughter. I've known her Mom (Becky) just as long and she is one of my dearest friends!
I had no sooner written my comment when Savannah wrote back,
"Barb Camp we were thinking of you! This is your jar! We made it bright and fun! Just like you!"
"What? You made me my own jar? Really??"
To which Savannah replied,
"Yep! The one in my hands is yours!!"
I may not have been there with them physically, but they were still thinking of me!
The theme for the meeting was prayer and the craft project was to make prayer jars!
Becky and Savannah made me my very own prayer jar!
A mother and daughter joint effort!
Becky and Savannah indeed put into practice,
"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
I'll be honest and share that I really thought I had the concept of prayer "nailed down" when I got saved in 1989 and as I continued to grow in the Lord over the years.
But once illness entered my life, prayer took on a completely new meaning, and I'm NOT just talking about praying for healing.
I'm talking about praying to the Lord about EVERY single detail of life!
Cooking, walking, doing our laundry, going to church, showering, standing, going on truck dates.
Tasks I never gave a second thought to when I was healthy!
BUT I'm extremely thankful I CAN pray about all these things, and that I'm heard and helped by my Heavenly Father!
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
I've also come to learn prayer is NOT just asking the Lord for things, but taking the time to PRAISE Him just for Who He is!
"Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."
The Lord has also given me a much clearer understanding of the JOY of praying for the needs of others.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy."
When I first received my prayer jar I was so excited that I wanted to write out EVERY single prayer request I could possibly think of and drop them all into the jar!
BUT GOD wanted it done a different way!
As I STOPPED and took the time to PRAY about it, the Lord led me to make the prayer requests very specific and to add just a few at a time.
The point being they aren't just slips of paper shoved into a jar.
They are specific prayer requests from my heart to God.
Being totally intentional with each request.
Inside my prayer jar are EXTREMELY important requests including people who need to trust Christ as their personal Saviour, to seemingly simple requests such as having a friend over for lunch without needing to cancel due to having a "feel bad" day!
Whether it's a "huge" or a "small" request, they ALL matter to the Lord!
I date each prayer request before placing it in my jar, and also date it when it's answered, whether the answer is, "Yes" or "No"! Of course if the answer is, "Wait", the slip of paper remains in the jar!
I'm thoroughly enjoying using my prayer jar!
When I go back and read how the Lord specifically answered some of my requests it's a huge faith booster and a great incentive to press on in prayer for the requests which remain in the jar, as well as those that continue to be added!
The definition of prayer by Webster's Online Bible Dictionary,
"Adoration, expression of our sense of God's glorious perfections, confession of our sins, supplication for mercy and forgiveness, intercession for blessings on others, thanksgiving, gratitude to God for his mercies and benefits."
May you and I never get over the pure amazement of prayer!
Knowing we have the privilege, honor and sheer JOY of speaking, being heard and answered by The Lord Himself twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days out of the year!
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May God Bless You,