Monday, July 25, 2011

The sound of prayer

This is a most intense week. Lots of emotions. In addition to Sophia's last chemo round of her protocol (a sleepover) tomorrow, my Mom is having abdominal surgery right next door at St. Luke's. Yep, Tuesday is a big day. Being on vacation last week helped me to turn my brain off and disconnect.

But today is today. Tomorrow is tomorrow. There is a lot on my mind.

I got to thinking last night, as I was praying for my Mom (and Sophia and me and a whole host of other people), what prayer sounds like. Scripture tells us what it smells like, oddly enough - or at least what it smells like to The Lord.

In Revelation 8, John documents the prayers of the saints rising to the altar before the Lord like incense. The picture from verse 3-4 I get is that the amount of incense presented (which represents our prayers) before the altar was overflowing. I imagine our prayers fill Heaven and it is a scent that will fill our white robes for eternity.

But as I lay there, I began to think about all the people praying for us. Thousands upon thousands of people on their knees, asking The Lord for healing, comfort, peace and strength for my sweet girl and our family. Sure, they may not all be in prayer at the exact same moment, but I believe prayer is not a temporal activity. I know from my own experience that my prayers seem to hang without being subject to the clock's tick.

A heartfelt prayer transcends the boundaries of the physical world. When we pray, we enter into the spiritual, where everything is eternal. That is why prayer is so darn important. We become who we've been designed to be in that moment in a way we never do in the physical world.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that if we saw what each other really looked like in the spiritual world (and I'm paraphrasing here), we would be terrified and would probably fall down in worship. Maybe that is why God made us look so ordinary, in comparison to creation. Not that our bodies aren't amazing, but just imagine what we look like on the inside - spiritually speaking, especially when we pray!

So - if prayer smells good, feels good, looks good - it stands to reason it sounds good. But just like everything else having to do with God, our version of "good" and His are different.

My chosen communicator would be Christy Knockels. My prayers in her voice, wow, nothing would sound better!

However, in God's economy, I believe prayer starts as The Spirit's still, small voice. It catches on the wind as a whisper. Maybe we think that is it. Poof!

It's gone.

But while we can no longer hear it with our mortal ears, they are not out of God's earshot.

Prayers don't just disappear with the wind; especially when we pray for the same thing. No, I picture those individual whispers propelled by the power of the Spirit. They gain strength and bind together. Circling around and around, gathering speed until, like a tornadic bullet train, they roar straight up to the Throne!

The only Scriptural basis I have for this is also from Revelation. In Chapter 1, verse 15, John describes what Jesus' voice sounds like. Depending on your translation, you get everything from the thundering waves of the ocean, to the raging waterfall of Niagara.

If Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith, our mighty High Priest, constantly interceding for us - and His prayers are deafening....I can only imagine the prayers of His people for my family sound the same. A terrible, huge wind tunnel from here on Earth bursting through before The Lord, with our names written on it.

What a gift you give us when you pray. The thought greatly humbles and sustains me. I know it pleases Him - all the prayers you have said. And I continue to pray He will reward your faith in His goodness very soon.

There goes those prayers now!!


Jen said...

This is beautiful, Amy. I'll be thinking of you and the fam today.
- Jen

janell heathcock said...

Amy, your writings always inspire me and I'll continue to pray for your family.


corinn rich said...

Ok, I'm crying.. this post is so moving.. lots and lots of prayers coming your way from our family to yours! Good luck to your Mom and your sweet Sophia tomorrow!!


JT said...

Amen and AMEN! Will be lifting Sophia, your mom, all our TPT4K kids, and all our cancer warriors.