Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm a Prayer Wimp

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Between Church and doctor visits both of which are at least 30 minutes away,  I have found driving is a space of quiet time for me.  Well not exactly quiet.  For I love to slide a Lincoln Brewster, Newsboys, Casting Crowns or various other worship leaders into the CD.  I crank it up and sing my heart out in worship.  Sometimes as I sing along, I can barely choke out the words because I have been  moved so thoroughly.   

I also take that time to pray. Of course because I'm driving, I keep my eyes open.  It usually goes something like...Father God, I praise your for your goodness.  I thank you for your salvation and for the grace and mercy you gave to me.  I praise you for who you are, I thank you for loving me.  Give me the strength and power to do your will.  I want to be your hands and feet Lord, give me wisdom on what that looks like.  then something about my husband  blah blah, bless him Lord....something about the kids...blah blah..protect and keep them Lord.  Then something about women in my Bible study group...any special requests. and then a good ole quiet Amen.  And I feel good about myself, because I just spent time with the Lord in prayer.  

I have prayed like that pretty much all my life.  I had a list written down and everything.  I was satisfied that God was listening. Perhaps I just need to crank up the volume in my prayer life so He could hear me better.  

I grew up in a legalistic church that had rules on how you prayed.  You could pray silently.  You could pray out loud.  But it should always be with eyes scrunched tightly, no one looking around and on your knees.  If you weren't on your knees, God wasn't listening.  Now I know God doesn't have rules on how you approach him, it was just that my church did.

Over the last several years I have made a concerted effort to incorporate prayer into my life.  I had been proud of myself for making the effort.  I have been praying that God would help me grow in the department of prayer. 

Within church circles, we have people we refer to as "prayer warriors."  They are people whom we know that has ability to go to God and faithfully pray.  And they will PRAY sisters!  If you have attended churches for very long, there is undoubtedly some saint  that you know without a doubt is a prayer warrior.  These are not people who pray "God bless sister Mary.  She has a cold.  God bless Pastor, Lord.  And while you're at it, go ahead and bless his wife Lord, cuz you know married to him, she needs another dose of grace (Sorry Jason, just had to add it.) 

I have heard the prayers of a warrior before and I have been astounded.  When these warriors pray, their prayers do not rise up to heaven.  No my friends, Heaven comes down to the Warrior.  I have heard prayers that gave me goosebumps and you KNEW you were in the presence of something real, and something powerful.  You are probably picturing someone right now. You know they are a warrior, even if you personally have never heard them pray out loud.  

There is a couple in our church, that I know they are both prayer warriors.  They do not shout their prayers.  They do not seem to be extraordinary at all.  But when they pray....things happen.  Relationships get mended, situations change and the church body grows.   

I also recall a prayer warrior from my childhood,  Mrs. Houston.  I have no clue what her first name was...she was Mrs. or Sister Houston.  She as old as dirt and on the chunky side.  She wore a hat to church even when most women had stopped the practice.  She always had a hankie.  And when the pastor called on Mrs. Houston to pray, my sisters and I would roll our eyes.  We might as well get comfortable down here on our knees, as we are going to be down here for a while.  I did not appreciate Mrs. Houston as a child.  

Mrs. Houston prayed loud.  And when she got really cranked up, she would begin to "whoop!"  She got to the point she could no longer actually pray.  But she would wave that hankie in the air, shouting "Glory!  Thank You Lord for your Faithfulness.  WHOOO!  Glory!  Whoo!  Glory be to God."  she went through all the praises and exultations. 

Mrs. Houston is gone now, a good many years.  I know she is waving her hankie, still shouting "Glory!" and whoopin' it up in heaven.  I did not realize what an honor it was to be there when Mrs. Houston prayed.  Heaven came down when she prayed.

Mrs. Houston and the other couple I mentioned are as different as night and day.  Nothing similar in the style, the voice, the volume or even the content.   Yet, I know without a doubt that they are prayer WARRIORS.  So I have been twisting around this question in my mind.  How do I become a prayer warrior?  Well...you have to start praying and that's where I started.  And I thought I was off to a good start.

Then I heard this little guy.  

He showed up on my facebook wall a couple months ago.  And whether you approve or don't approve....This young man flipped my apple cart.  After hearing him BESEECHING Heaven, with Decrees and Declarations...my jaw hit the floor.  (OK I did kind of giggle when he reached the part about Multi Million dollar strategies.  But I was impressed all the same.)  In fact I was humbled, totally wiped out at the knees by this little fellow's prayer.

By the time this five year old finished his prayers and led them in a moment of praise.  I was ashamed.  

I am such a prayer wimp 

I have NEVER approached the Throne of Grace with the boldness that this child displayed.  I don't care to discuss if you approve of his prayer or not, he had the faith and boldness to raise up his voice to the Heavens and he EXPECTED to hear some answers back.  He was CERTAIN that God was listening.  I'm sure the fact that this happens to be TD Jakes church has something to do with the child's ability to pray.  For the handful of years he has been alive, I'm sure he has heard some warriors pray.  He's had these messages lived out in front of him.

It rocked me on my heels honestly.  I have spent some time chewing on the concept that I couldn't pray like this 5 year old child!  That is incredibly humbling to admit to anyone.   I do not know how to pray like a warrior.  This child did a better job than I do.  Sometimes I play the clip again just to remind myself of how I want to pray.

What I do believe is that I don't have to be in any particular place to pray like a warrior.  I don't believe that I have to be in any certain posture.  I don't even believe that you have a squeeze your eyes tightly shut.  I know that I can meet with God at any place, any time and anywhere.  But I just don't feel the power in my prayer that I heard in this little guy's prayer.  I'm not giving any answers here, I'm confessing a weakness. 

I suspect that this might have something to do with this old problem that I have with God.  He's working on it with me, and if you have read some past posts, you will recognize my problem.  I struggle with several things concerning prayer.

There is a liar who tells me that God is not interested in my prayer.
The same liar tells me that God does not hear my prayer.
That irritating liar tells me that my prayer accomplish nothing.
It's the same liar that tells me that I'm not worthy to speak to God, that God doesn't like me very much. So the final lie...

Who do I think I am to think I could EVER be a prayer warrior.  

There is a LIAR who tells me that God is not interested in my prayer.
Philippians 4:5-7 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.   (HCSB)

The same LIAR tells me that God does not hear my prayer.
Psalm 66:18-20  18 If I had been aware of malice in my heart,the Lord would not have listened.19 However, God has listened;He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.20 May God be praised!He has not turned away my prayer nor turned His faithful love from me. (HCSB)

That irritating LIAR tells me that my prayer accomplish nothing.
James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.  (HCSB)

It's the same LIAR that tells me that I'm not worthy to speak to God, that God doesn't like me very much. 
1 John 4:9-10 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (HCSB)

Who do I think I am to think I could EVER be a prayer warrior. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  16 Rejoice always!  1Pray constantly.  18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:26  26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.  (HCSB)

Who am I to think God cares or wants my prayers?

1 John 3:1-2  Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn't know Him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. (HCSB)

Who am I?

Romans 8:14 All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children17 and if children, also heirs —heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.  (HCSB)

I am God's adopted kid!

Who is the LIAR?  
Ephesians 6:11-13  11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.  (HCSB)

How do I combat the LIAR?

2 Timothy 3:15-17 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (HCSB)

Hit 'em with your best weapon!

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I have decided the first thing I have to do is pray more often.
I'm going through rehab right now for a big surgery I will have next fall.  Over and over, the PT tell me that in order for a weak muscle to become strong, it has to be exercised.  Regular exercise builds strength.  "The secret to a good reconstruction is good rehabilitation."  I need to rehabilitate my prayer life.

I have to pray with the confidence, I am God's child and He's anxious to hear what I have to say.   I can learn to access the authority given to me BY Christ that I can come with Confidence before Him in prayer.  Boldly without hesitation or shame, I have the same right to be there as Christ because He shared His inheritance with me  

In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Eph 3:12 

So I'm on a journey learning to be a prayer warrior instead of a prayer wimp. I do not know if I will ever "decree and declare".  But I want to pray prayers that changes lives and the world around me.  I want to pray Heaven down upon this wannabe warrior.  I trust He will grow me into the kind of warrior HE wants me to be.   

In the meantime I leave you with Michael Jr.  He has prayer issues as well.  I can relate.


  1. I have loved every post that I have ever read on your blog, dear sweet Tina, but THIS is one of your best! And no pun intended ... AMEN!

  2. Tina... AMEN! He does listen, every single minute of every day, He is walking with us, listening. and I believe that He is over the moon thrilled with your heart and your prayers. All He longs for is relationship with us... so lets talk to Him! And yes, we can take authority because we are His, and that's part of our right and privilege as His children! Awesome post my friend!

  3. Amazing! I think you are a prayer warrior! Don't let Satan tell you that you're not! Just the fact that you wrote all this says a lot about your desire to be close to God and pray strong prayers that avail much. Be blessed. :) Lauren, lholmes79.wordpress.com