To the Ladies, upon the Completion of a Semester of Study

My Fellow Sojourners,

As we wrap us this prayer study, you have been on my heart, and as I was praying for you, the Lord laid something very precious and powerful on my heart to share with you. It is very important and I pray you would take the time to read this message in its entirety because I believe the Lord wants to use it to encourage and exhort you.

My first message to you is simply but so sincerely…Thank You. Thank you for loving Jesus and being willing to follow Him in this journey toward intentional prayer. I know it has not been easy, and the temptation to grumble and complain and give up has been real and intense. But you kept crying out to Him, acknowledging your weakness, and relying on His Spirit for your strength. And I pray that in this battle you have sensed the Lord and His presence as never before.

The Lord has used all of you…every single one of you to refresh my heart and renew my spirit. The very first night of our study as we all knelt on the floor in a basement to pray, I was overwhelmed by God’s Goodness and Grace…His Power and Majesty. It was reflected so powerfully in that moment as the collective sound of your thanksgiving, praises, confessions, and intercessions were poured out as incense to the Lord. It was absolutely beautiful in every way, and I had this sense that it was a glimpse of the glory of worship in heaven. John describes it this way in Revelation 5:8b-10:

…the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

And as I read this passage this afternoon I sensed the Lord saying that within this anthem of praise to Christ Our Mighty Savior is also a call to you, my dear friends and fellow soldiers. He has ransomed people from every tribe, language, people, and nation, and He is asking you to join Him in carrying that message to the ends of the earth. No matter your vocation, professional training, or current station in life, He has a call and purpose for you to play in this mission….in fact, the very place He has you even know is purposeful and intentional.

He has gifted you all uniquely with different passions, skills, and talents…and it is awesome! The challenge is that the world will lure you in to using these gifts for personal gain. He is asking instead that you would surrender them to His use for His purposes and not your own. I have personally found that this is a daily surrender, a commitment to follow Jesus, share His love, and be obedient in every decision. I use to see this as burdensome but have found instead it is life-giving because it requires an ongoing moment-by-moment conversation with Our Father.

There is actually nothing sweeter than the ongoing development of this dependence on Him. Remember what He says in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Yoke your heart to His and you will find rest for your soul. 

Our time with Him at the start of every day provides the fuel and the framework for our discussions with Him in prayer throughout our day. Both are important, and I pray that even though this study is ending you would continue to humble yourself and bow before Him in Praise and Thanksgiving each morning, recalling that you are joining the choir in heaven who sing with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:12-13)

The grace He has given each of you is uncommon. Your love for Him and your simple desire to submit to Him and follow are so beautiful and amazing. I am so, so blessed to be on this journey with you.

This post has been contributed to
the Thistlebend blog anonymously.

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