Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The double blessing

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Lamentations 7, 8, 9, 10

Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Good morning!

Have you ever told someone that you would pray for them? There is comfort in knowing someone out there is praying. Why is that? What difference does prayer make in the life of someone else?

I grew up in the home of a praying mother. More than anything else, my mother wanted to be a mother. When she continued to miscarry, Mother prayed for the Lord to bless her with children. Looking outside the conventional box, my parents adopted two little girls who would have otherwise grown up in a state orphanage. God took Mom’s inability to have biological children and turned it into a double blessing. She was able to become the mother she had always longed to be, while offering the gift of love to babies who would have never fully known what a mother’s love could truly be. Mom often said to me, “You are a very special little girl. Most parents bring their children home from the hospital, sight unseen. But we got to pick you out.”

This is how intercessory prayer works. Long before we know the need or see the face, we pray. We pray specifically for another human being. Maybe it is someone you have never met. My mother prayed for the children God would have her raise, and He provided them to her. I spent years praying over the beds of my babies, asking God to never let go of their lives. I asked Him to send the right people along their path at just the right moment in time. I begged God to give them a heart of flesh, and not a heart of stone. My children are extraordinarily precious to me. If you are a parent, then you understand the kind of love I’m talking about.

Yesterday, I stood over the hospital bed where my daughter Rachel lay, after having another surgical procedure. I grabbed a tissue next to the bed and dried the tears running down her checks. Once again, we found ourselves grateful that the God who promises to never leave or forsake us was present behind the curtains in the recovery room. It is truly amazing to see the hand of God at work. We are the recipients of the double blessing. So often we pour out our hearts for others. It is a gift from God to feel so absolutely uplifted in prayer. There was not a doubt in my mind who held the hand of the doctor as he removed Rachel’s tumor, or who sat with His arms wrapped around our son-in-law as we waited. We find ourselves waiting again. It will be another week before we know whether there are more steps to take. There is peace in His presence. We find hope even in a dark corridor where sometimes it is difficult to see light. Faithful prayer warriors direct our lives toward His light through their sacrifice of selfless love.

Prayer is a life-changing gift. It was the power of prayer that pointed me toward the foot of the cross, and that same power of prayer sustains me today. Jesus extends a holy invitation to all those who believe in His resurrection power, to come into The Father’s presence every day with praise and petition. He invites believers to sit at His feet and listen. We experience His presence through the comfort and conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is an intimate relationship worth seeking because He gives life-sustaining breath and vision that sees beyond our present circumstances and looks forward to life everlasting with the Lord.

If you make time to pray for someone else, you have just moved into the realm of intercessory prayer. What you are doing is a powerful and precious gift, allowing God to move your heart with compassion on behalf of someone else. Do not ever believe that the gift of intercessory goes unnoticed. You may not be able to tell the difference from where you are sitting in your prayer closet. Let me assure you that your prayers are powerful and effective and they are received with grateful hearts from the ones who receive this gift.

Jesus sets the bar at intercessory prayer. He taught us how to pray without ceasing. His life was a living symphony of prayer and praise. He continues to intercede for you and I in heaven. He can teach us how to pray. Ask Him to help you. I hope someday that you will experience the peace that comes with the double blessing.

I am grateful to each and every one of you for your prayers for our children today. We have His indescribable peace, and that is a gift borne from your petitions on our behalf. Thank you.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: God to give you the desire to come into His presence today on behalf of someone you may or may not know. The gift you give will become a double blessing in your life. Not only will your trust level and relationship with God deepen in indescribable ways, you will make a lasting difference for another soul. Move beyond the conventional and look outside the box. God can take your burden and transform it into a blessing, if you will just ask Him to.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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