Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Prayer Pt 1

I have been meaning to write about my God experiences a few weeks ago. At first I was digesting everything, then I was busy, then I forgot, and now I remember.

A few weeks we had a visiting missionary come to stay with a couple in our church. Janelle Stevens is from Winnipeg, from the IHOP church there and is an IHOP Campus Missionary.

Janelle with Ereka and Vic
(Ereka is our Campus Minister - Vic is he boyfriend - we like them both)
I met her on the last night of our week of prayer and fasting – we were at our church’s celebration (just before our first meal!) and she was sitting with friends of ours. Now these friends (the Egilsons) are into International Ministry – and it was quite the shock to see them sitting with a young white girl. They are usually surrounded with young Chinese students, which they entirely love. Like a lot. Anyways, I digress. I noticed Janelle right away, and since we always sit behind these friends we got to talk with her. Right off the bat I noticed that she was funny, kind and approachable. It was the first thing I noticed about her. After some AMAZING worship (like seriously amazing, jump up and down, dance around, praise us some Jesus worship) we got into small groups to pray. We paired up with the Egilsons and Janelle. All of us care about the campus and about Canada, so this was a perfect fit for prayer. As we started to pray Janelle opened up her bible and prayer scripture from Isaiah. What she prayed, what she read really, spoke straight to my heart. (Isaiah 58:6-9)

I haven’t heard many people pray the bible. I’ve often heard people use a bible verse in prayer, but there was something about how she prayed/read it. I’ve only heard my friend Kathleen do it similarly.

At the time I didn’t know what this was about. I just thought, cool I liked that verse, it really spoke to me, I’m glad she said that.

A week and a half later Janelle came over to our house with the Egilsons and another Campus worker friend of ours, Ereka. She shared with us what her daily life looks like, and how she does prayer ministry vocationally. She detailed what her days looked like (they are crazy to me, crazy awesome, but also just crazy); she spends 2 hours in one on one devotional time with God from 5am to 7am. She leads 2 prayer times (each lasting 2-3 hours) on two different campuses each day.

One of the things though, that really impacted me, was that when she told us this I didn't automatically feel guilty or condemned. I didn't feel terrified that I'd have to do that too. Janelle shared God in a way that invited you to know him more. She made him seem like a Father who loves each of us in our own ways, with what we can each offer.

Honestly, this is a rare gift in a speaker and especially in a Christian (unfortunately). It's something I think about all the time when I share about God...when I meet with people, as I build friendships - how do I talk about my life and the things I feel called to do that invites others to step in to what God is calling them to do, and doesn't sound like I'm inviting them to be just like me? Because no one should only worship God just like someone else - we all have specific calling and destinies that we need to hear from God about. This is his gift to us...a significance, a purpose, a specific calling that he destined us for!

I have a lot more to say on this - I haven't even started to look at my notes from Janelle's visits but for now I'll leave you with a link to a blog post from a blog I just started following today, that spoke to loudly to me.

It is by a church planter, who writes a blog called "Naptime Diaries". It is part of a series, but it was Part 2 "You have Influence" that really stood out to me. You should head on over there, and then let me know what you thought of it.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

Tara. Thank you. I was so privileged to have met you and had some moments to share time in prayer and talking about God. Thank you for coming and making me feel so welcome that first day. It was awesome to hear your heart a bit, and Paul's, and I loved being in your home for an afternoon.
I look forward to the next time we can hang out in person.
Keep blogging. It's great!


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