PRAYING FOR GRACEBEARERS_2
NOTE: This and the following Monday’s journal entry contain portions taken from the book, The Journal of Ann Schultz, (ref#217). (Ann’s assignment at GraceBearers was to read Scripture and give the ending prayer.)
Another day to pray for the GraceBearers women. I woke up thinking about it.
This was a day that I had no obligations outside the house. It seemed like a day that I could relax and take my time praying every which way for the women. But, in the prayer closet the SPIRIT began by calling to remembrance activities I should and shouldn’t do: fasting. I complained bitterly—I didn’t even get enough to eat yesterday.
(I’ve never had such a struggle with fasting as I’ve had with my involvement in GraceBearers. I do not like to fast at all. In the past GOD enabled me to rise above my complaining stomach, but now it just seems to distract me.)
FATHER, I do want You to be my substance and not food. Food just satisfies Ann and keeps me comfortable. For a few days I can survive quite nicely without food. It doesn’t harm me physically at all. So I’ll fast.
Totally forgetting why I entered the closet I the first place, my thoughts went to Monday night. Alice is going to talk about grieving the SPIRIT at GraceBearers. I’m feeling that what I’ve prepared will not be what the SPIRIT wants to do. So I’m trying to get Him to tell me so I can be prepared—so I can do His will eloquently—perfectly. I’m forgetting that He can get His will accomplished by using creatures that don’t even talk. He doesn’t need me.
I think of Peter preaching to the Gentiles and the SPIRIT falling on them before he was even done. LORD, You don’t need me. I have to repent. Let me let You take care of what You want done with GraceBearers.
Presently, in this closet, I think my job becomes the work of not leaving You. Right now I’m so uncomfortable that I long for an interruption. I have to laugh, interruptions come when I don’t want them and they don’t come when I do.
I’m rambling. Let me get back to my kneeling stool.
Well, another 10 minutes has passed with no revelation at the kneeling stool. I only got colder and hungrier. And the more I thought about being cold and hungry the colder and hungrier I got.
I keep thinking of quitting this prayer vigil. But, I can’t even think of what I would do if I quit—except find a warm spot and eat. My back hurts sitting here writing and the more I think of the pain, the more the pain comes. My back doesn’t hurt when I’m kneeling but I freeze kneeling. I’m so uncomfortable. How I’d welcome an interruption.
My back will be fine if I can run with You. My hungry stomach and my freezing legs, feet, and hands will be too. Am I feeling more and more need to be apprehended by You. Help, I’m in misery. Save me.
My interruption has come. I’ve agreed to take Jewel to pick up her kids. So I’ll be comfortable for a couple hours. Should I have consented? I’m not sure. I have a feeling I shouldn’t have. If not, then I need to get much quicker in touch with my GOD while I’m asked to make a spur of the moment decision while on the phone. But, for now, I’m off to pick up Jewel. I hope I’ve not disappointed You, LORD.
Back again, but not without incident. I ran into heavy snow and began to wonder if I could make it home. Five hours later I’m back. Should I have done it? You leave these decisions up to me, don’t You LORD? So, I did what I did and now I’m back desiring to seek You in earnest prayer once again.
I’ve moved out of the prayer closet to my desk. Wrapped in blankets and housecoat over three layers of clothes, I’ll attempt to stay warm. My feet can usually stand it best under this desk stuck in a paper bag. So, here I am.
LORD, ready my GraceBearer sisters. There, it has taken five pages and hours to finally pray what is needful to pray.
Ready me; ready my sisters for Your arrival. Revival and repentance go together.
I pray You bring a sobering, heavy countenance upon us as Alice speaks. Make us feel the graveness of grieving the HOLY SPIRIT. Make us more than ready to get the burden of wronging the SPIRIT off our back. Make us anxious to repent.
“The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps 51:17 RSV).
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter” (2 Cor 7:10-11 RSV).
“Submit yourselves…to God….Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts,…Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord….” (James 4:7-10 RSV).
I just talked to Alice and she thinks I’m on track and gave me the above Scriptures. So she was an encouragement that the SPIRIT has moved me to the subject of repentance. It is in such a different direction than what I had decided and obtained approval previously.
LORD, I pray that You bring or begin to bring GraceBearers women to the point of desperateness by revealing to them how they grieve Your SPIRIT. This also goes for the leadership of the church for Alice asked me to pray for them, too. And I pray for Alice as she is the one You are apprehending to bring the message of grieving to us. I pray that she speak clearly for she’ll need prayers since I’m sure You’ll burden her with her own ways of grieving Your SPIRIT. And I will need prayers for that, too. Right now remembering my incidents of grieving You makes me collapse in a puddle of tears.