This next Sunday our church plant is meeting in the CineArts theater
in Palo Alto for the first time.
So this Sunday our small group went there to pray.
When I was in Youth With a Mission, prayer was big.
We prayed, we expected God to answer, we listened for the answers.
We would go up in the hills to pray from "the high places".
We talked about praying in the spirit.
Prayer was like breathing. People were always praying.
Fast forward 15 years and my praying has not been so much like
breathing as it is more like my exercise regimen,
scattered and a bit on the flabby side.
But that is changing. It tends to do that when you're desperate.
In the last two months, a whole lot of crazy has gone down.
We have had 4 visits to the emergency room (two for Scott, two for Will),
4 rounds of the stomach flu
(four seperate weeks that it has infected the house),
Will had a crazy allergic reaction that caused his fingers and toes to swell
(this happened 4 times over two days)
and he had to go in for allergy testing,
not to mention that our rent has gone up, and just this past week
someone told me they knew of a hairstylist who could fix my hair
(even after I told her I liked it and believed it would lighten naturally).
The hair incident nearly sent me over the edge.
So I have been praying. A LOT.
And I have been listening. Because I want to know what God
thinks about all this crazy.
And I have been thinking of praying from some high places...
I am wondering if I perch in the Japanese maple in my backyard
if it will hold my weight.
And as I was racing to the hospital to meet Scott and Will,
as his little digits were swelling up like sausages,
I started talking to the devil. Yep, the devil.
And I told him,
"You can do what you want but God is more powerful than you
and he is going to get done what he wants to get done!
You don't get to win!"
And then I called my family and my friends,
and I cried a little bit because frankly, I'm tired of the crazy,
and told them, "We are no longer taking everyday regular prayers.
Let's get a little praying in the spirit going on."
Because in Ephesians 6:18 it says,
Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.
Why? So that we can stand firm in spite of the crazy (tsg paraphrase).
And in these last few days, I felt the prayers of others bouying me up,
and there is a peace in my house even now as I sit and write.
So I know that God is listening and answering countless prayers.
And I know people are praying for us because instead of being laid out
flat on my back by all that has come our way, I am still able to stand.
When we prayed at the theater yesterday, we prayed with the kids, too.
We prayed for God's presence.
One of our boys' buddies piped up,"I would like some presents."
And then when we prayed that Jesus would bring lots of kids to church,
He added,"And lots of robots, too."
And I would not be one bit surpised next Sunday if we had some presents
and an unexpected showing of robots.
Because when we pray, things can happen.
And I am counting on this
because I have been praying about that lady who made the hair comment
and I think by tomorrow I will be able to forgive her.
Because of prayer.