This week I have had a hard time blogging. Not sure why, but usually by Thursday I am finished. Well, it is Thursday morning, and here I sit trying to think of how to write on the great topics suggested by our blog leader. Some of what I would like to write about, I can not because of the subject matter and the people I love who are hurting. Honestly, I have been unable to come up with which subject in our prayer study to blog about, and what to say on any of the subjects so I am sitting here, thinking, typing and wondering where this goes.
I thought about the subject of our study, Cultivating A Heart of Prayer, and I thought how we sometimes shorten it to “The Gap”. It is a gap between Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies – the last one which ended in June and the next one which starts in August. I know what gap means, but think I will look it up. I googled it and found in “The Free Dictionary” several things that apply. One definition was “a space between object or points”. I have a subject, I have done the work this week, but the words are not coming. But for some reason God has placed that word “gap” in my mind even though I have been in several gap studies before.
So, I sit here wondering about what has been missing in my prayer life and about that word “gap”. I have my prayer notebook. I write prayer requests. I write specifically for my family and friends on what I am praying about. I get on my knees in tears some days so what is missing, is there a gap Lord?
I thought about an analysis we used to do when I was working. It was called a “gap analysis”. We would sit down and perform an analysis of where we are today and where we wanted to be at a certain point in time. From that analysis, we would analyze what to do to get there.
I learned something really crucial this week that I have been missing when I pray and it just hit me it is the gap. BAM! So what kind of GAP analysis did we do these last three weeks – our gap – God Answers Prayers?
We learned first to sit quietly before the Lord and really hear from Him. We studied and searched scriptures and learned how powerful praying scriptures back to Him can be, and what I believe is the product of all our analysis. We were encouraged to think of people, issues, relationships – things or giants in our lives and to choose ONLY one to bring before our Father. That could have been a hard task and for some it was about what to choose, but immediately the Father placed an individual on my heart, someone I know and love, someone who has people all over the world praying for her and her family. I can not go into details here about that person and that issue, but I chose her because she is one whom I love deeply and who shares her heart with me sometimes.
As I began the assignments, I was awed on Monday morning how fast God put that person on my heart-maybe it is because I have been praying so much for her. So once I chose her, I began the assignment of five sections. Actually it is similar to the gap analysis at work – choosing a person, thing, etc. now and deciding ultimately how we are going to pray for them.
These were our sections (thanks Christa Hutchins)
Section 1 – A Promise to Claim – we left blank until we finished all the other sections. I still have this section to finish.
Section 2 – Be Thankful – as I listed all the things I am thankful for about that beautiful lady, and I thought about all the pain she has been through (doctors, hospitals, surgeries, medicines, fear, sadness, hurt), I was able to ask the Father to change me, to change me to be more of an encourager for people, to change me to have more of a hurting heart for people, to change me to be more like Him.
Section 3 – Areas of Struggle – I listed ways this family is struggling, if they have any wrong relationships with God or others and why this issue is a struggle for me.
Section 4 – First, Change Me – I looked at did my attitude need to change and what harmful thoughts or attitudes do I have that are different from God’s view. I also looked to see if I had been approaching this issue in the wrong way and had I contributed to the problem with wrong attitudes or actions and what God needs to change in me to bring about resolution.
Section 5 – Blessings – What does this person need or desire in their life? How could God bless them so that they are drawn to Him? How could this issue be a blessing to you and others? What would be the perfect outcome that is consistent with God’s Word and His plan for your life?
The very second day of this assignment there were two miracles from God. I will not list those either but oh how I wish I could. I shared privately with my prayer group what God had done. As I evaluated me and He began to change my heart, and I shared my heart with someone else, that person, in turn called me an hour later and said that God burdened her heart after we had been together that morning sharing our hearts about our Jesus sister and He asked her to do something that would bless four families.
God has taken this pain and blessed many lives this week, mostly mine and I believe I am going to see others changed in the coming months. I learned that God truly answers prayers when we humble ourselves, evaluate ourselves and spend time with Him. GAP – God answers prayers!
So what has God taught me this week? He has taught me there is more to prayer than I could have ever imagined. He taught me as I sit quietly with Him that first day and really listened with an open heart for Him to guide me as to what I would write down in all those sections. He taught me the missing “gap” is focusing more intently on how I pray.