Friday, February 6, 2015

Two sides of the coin

It's the first week of the month and that means it's Random Journal Link-up out in the blogisphere. I look forward to these days when I can reach into the tomes I have up on my shelf and discover something about my history. If I wrote an entry a week, I wouldn't ever finish combing the bowels of those blue notebooks. But it's fun to dive in. After reading mine (first, of course), head over to Dawn's place to check out what else is in the pool. You can find the interesting, powerful story of Jeannie Pallet's history with journal's featured there, too. The link's right here.

For years I was privileged to be part of a group of women who met in a small room in our church each week to pray. It wasn't a coffee clutch, we didn't bring our knitting and no food was ever served. We simply got up early (at least early for me!)  once a week, stumbled into our places in a small ante room off the women's bathroom and after a bit of conversation, began to pray. We didn't go around the room sharing prayer concerns first, we learned early on that they would come out organically as we prayed, and that if we took the time to talk about them, we'd use up our praying time.

This journal entry I've found has me musing about prayer (it's July 2003):

I was telling K yesterday that there's a significant difference in the way women pray in our group. Some I've noticed primarily seek God on behalf of themselves and their own families and their own needs. They are supplicants, They give more information than God needs and sometimes leave me with the impression that our time together are their primary hour of prayer. Others are intercessors: they pray for others--locally, corporately, cosmically. There is an expansiveness to their praying that, even when specific, included all. It's almost like they're simply including us in an ongoing conversation. "Come join me as I talk to Father God with you."
That's what I want--for my life to be an ongoing conversation, by word and action, with Father God. I am a subject to the King and have daily, immediate access to Him in His Throne room. Isn't that an amazing idea? No, that's not even it? Not a subject, but His own beloved child who can come flying across that Throne room and climb up into His lap. That's who I am. And that's how I should pray. 
Or maybe both at once. With reverence because He's I AM THAT I AM, and immediacy because He's Abba Father: yes, these are the two sides of the coin of how I converse with my God.

"The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives--altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure...we do not have to be bright or pure or filled with faith or anything . That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well. AND we pray by it."                                                                                      Richard Foster, Prayer, 8.


Jeannie Pallett said...

I loved your thoughts on prayer and especially when you wrote about flying into the King's lap. You have come to know the Papa King's heart and I am sure you are a tremendous influence and blessing in your prayer circle. Your own prayers teaching others how to pray just by the beautiful example you set.

quietspirit said...

I also like your word picture of flying across the room and into the King's lap.

I also am glad to find out what a supplicant is. In the prayer mode called ACTS-Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, SUPPLICATION, I thought all the requests we made-for others-were included here. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Wow! this was wonderful (as usual!) I love this picture of climbing into the King's Lap...and feeling such a welcome He was expecting a little child who sees her beloved Grandpa and can't wait to run into his arms...and yet, so much greater than that! This particular "Grandpa" is the King of kings, and Lord of lords...and He wants me there in His lap every moment of every day...He never grows weary of my daily prayers...regardless of what or whom or how I approach Him...He knows what's going on inside...and love to hear from me either way. This was a great word picture today. Love it.

Deanna Wiseburn said...

Such a beautiful picture of prayer. I've never prayed in a prayer group, so I don't know what that looks like...but that is what I want the story of my life to be. An ongoing conversation with Jesus and that my life shines with Him.

Susie - Recovering Church Lady said...

Great insight on a couple different types of prayers, so interesting. But gotta say that the beginning bit about learning not to chat too much before the prayer time was a fun reminder of my women's prayer group days in the past. Ha!
We need BOTH don't we?...the visiting and the intentional prayer time, but they don't have to happen at the same meeting. I love figuring out that we are not to feel guilty about visiting more than praying, because both can be holy. Both are vital. Reversing the order was super helpful when I was a leader. Loved your post so much!

jeskmom said...

EXACTLY, Susie. We prayed first, then often went out to breakfast. Or had other social times together at other times. But first things, first. Several of us worked and didn't want to miss praying because all we'd done was visit. It was a learning process. I really miss these women (we met together for about 5 years but haven't for quite a while now) and know that if I need them they will be here in a flash because of all those days together.

Dawn Paoletta said...

Love the Foster quote, and so yes to these observations...I like the way you put it. And having prayed with women for many years now, I can see those same observations you saw...and can even recall the evolution of my own prayer life...and the longing for it, and struggle to stumble to a larger place of grace...that freedom from self consciousness we know when we are with Him...not aware of us, but only of His expansive beauty and grace...He gets us there, if we dare come as we are, risk the fumbling and foolishness and soon enough, we are freer, lighter, able to converse with Him...raw and real. What a gift...what a joy. ANd what a lovely image at the end... FLYING across the throne room, I sorta had the image of me as a Smiles, and thanks, Carolyn!

Kel Rohlf said...

Loved your insights as you wrote them into your journal about the types of pray-ers in your group...praying together is an amazing gift...I have a group of friends that started out praying for our kids through the Moms In Prayer ministry...we often marvel how God brought together such a diverse group of women...only God could have brought us together...and now we pray for each other and our grown kids...some us have been together almost 11 years way the power of corporate prayer is rich...thanks for reminding me of that today