Sunday, September 13, 2015

2015: The Year of Prayer: Week 34 & 35

After many long years of being uncomfortable with the moniker of "Prayer Warrior," I think I get it a way that allows me to wear it with (holy, humble) pride.

I love God and I love His people.  I know He can do great things because He already has - in the big sense of Creation and Redemptive History - but also in my own life.  He saved my life from a selfish, self-absorbed pit.  He restarted my marriage.  He gave me purpose and meaning.  He saved my daughter from cancer.  He saved my other daughter from complications during birth. 

He still saves us daily - but not only that...He moves us forward into being more complete people  We love more and better.  We are full of joy and then some.  We are grateful for everything and understand how blessed we are.  We serve cheerfully.  I'm not saying this to brag, only to show you where I am on the map, compared to the complaining, ungrateful, easily angered greedy woman I was before Jesus got a hold of me.  He changes us....for His glory and our betterment.  He is that kind of guy.....that kind of God.

He has saved me in mind, body and soul and continues to reveal the path of life when I seek Him. And even sometimes when I don't!

It's a daily practice for me to think on those such things.  Yet, it isn't just the knowledge that God is good all the time (and all the time He is good) that makes me a prayer warrior.  It isn't something unique or special about me that makes me want to - even drives me to pray, worship and experience Holy Spirit in my spirit and in His truth.

The thing that makes me a prayer warrior is the same thing every Christian has: faith.

It is belief in the finished work of Jesus.  That reality changes the game because you can't have faith in faith or faith in yourself (or anyone/anything else).  What makes us Christians is being saved by faith IN CHRIST, not our own deeds (See Acts 16:31).  It is the trust and hope in Who Christ is and What He completed in His birth, life, death and resurrection that gives us eternal life as well as the power to live abundantly in the here and now.  I don't do it, He does.

That's the thing that makes me step into the spray of this fallen life, into the jacked up culture and assaults of the enemy.  It is Jesus.  Maybe I have "the gift of faith," the Apostle Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 12.  Maybe I've just seen enough that I can't deny the goodness and power of God.  Maybe when I see someone sucking in the quick-sand of life, I have the urge to give them a taste of Living Water.  Maybe when I know I've made a choice for something, our Gracious Lord built me to go all in.  Maybe I am just stubborn.

Maybe it is all of that and more.

Either way, I know what I've got that makes other people call me that "Prayer Warrior."  The light bulb went off Wednesday morning while reading a book by Francis MacNutt simply called Healing (highly recommend).  On pages 103-104, he describes an experience where he and his foundation put up $50,000 to make a short film to demonstrate the power of healing prayer.  His friends felt he showed extraordinary faith in risking so much money when, during filming, there is a chance no one will be healed and the project a total flop with his reputation unraveled  He writes,

...I was surprised that they thought I had extraordinary faith, because I think that my faith is very ordinary.  When I pray I usually have no special sense whether or not the person I am praying for is going to be healed; in my own eyes I lack the special "gift of faith" connected so often with the healing ministry....what they were actually saying, though, was that I had chutzpah. (That's a Yiddish slang term meaning something like "nerve" or "brass," "extreme confidence in action."  Hispanics might call it "huevos" or Italians "meatballs."  You get the point.)

I believed that we should risk all the finances we had and "go for it," assuming that God wanted to show people of good faith the kinds of healing that I ordinarily see.  Seeing faith as chutzpah will set you free.  In this view, faith isn't an extraordinary version of what you believe...As John Wimber used to say, "Faith is spelled 'R-I-S-K.'..The faith lies in setting out on the journey, not in being sure of exactly where we are going.  We believe that God is faithful, provided we do what is in our power - and that is to pray....

The summation of this passage, plus reading The Circle Maker earlier this year and then seeing the movie War Room Tuesday night left me fired up.  I am embracing my alter ego of Xena Prayer Warrior Princess, one part of me I've slightly embarrassed about for a long time, out of fear of false-pride.  It's time for me to step into believing, trusting in and praying the truth of Hebrews 4:14-16 from The Message:

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Confident is who I am.  Bold is how I operate.  Although not in myself, in my God. I don't have to have a 100% win ratio because, in faith, God wins every time.  His sovereignty isn't just a good idea, it is the absolute truth.  It stake my claim and my life on it.

It's time to get to praying and more.  Be bold with me, friends.  Embrace the chutzpah the Lord has given you, your faith is rightly placed.  You don't have to worry about the results because I am sure the Lord will bless our attempts.  His love and grace cover a multitude of sins.  I'm counting on that and on you to join me.  

Let's pray the Kingdom of God, on Earth just as it is in Heaven!

No comments: