VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

PRAYING FOR GRACEBEARERS_2

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.43.34 PMNOTE: 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.)

2/13/08, Wednesday

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 yourselvesto 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.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

PRAYING FOR GRACEBEARERS

…NOTE: This and the following two Monday’s journal entries 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.)

2/12/08, Tuesday

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.43.17 PMTonight I come to prayer under the influence of the HOLY SPIRIT. He comes presently as a small ember flaring up deep within. Even as a small ember, He drives me to my knees in repentance. He cracks the door to the spiritual world and I see the seriousness of earthly life.

Life is not for me to squander. It’s not even for me to take lightly and allow myself a few sins here and there. It’s about life and death—eternal life and eternal death. And, since He so graciously has given me life, it is about the death of my fellow creatures.

I can complain all day about how natural Ann keeps me from obeying—how I try to pray, but can’t. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m held responsible for following GOD. If I can’t pray then I better wait in His presence until I can. Never mind that worldly life is going on. Spiritual life is much more important than my earthly agenda.

Do I really think that my daily plans are more important than getting on my knees and waiting for the door to open into the spiritual world? This is my life blood—being able to develop my spiritual life. Without it I die.

FATHER, You’ve given me grace upon grace and with it responsibility upon responsibility. You command that I pray for my GraceBearers sisters.

Some stand before You as I once did not very long ago—seekers of You, but unable to enter in. Human effort from a heart desiring to be spiritual only produces frustration. So many, I perceive, of my sisters are stuck in this wanting-to-but-failing mode. And if they are as stuck as I use to be, they believe the circle of sinning and asking forgiveness is all Christianity is. LORD, for women in this category I want to plead for in prayer.

Another condition that describes some of my sisters is a condition of wanting more of You, LORD, but unable to reach You because they are bound by medical, or physical, or spiritual causes. Their condition in this world holds them—especially with its busyness that now is so fashionable.

The last group I pray for is my sisters who have not experienced You in any degree of fullness. They are the ones that are not serious about seeking You. But, if You have moved them to come to the GraceBearers meeting, You are beginning to draw them.

For all these groups of precious women, LORD, come. Come show Yourself in ways that will revive each of us.

I keep thinking of the valley of dry bones—Your words through Ezekiel for the house of Israel. Do we not need the same mercy from You as they do?

I see all of us before You as bones that You have put sinews, flesh and skin on and have made us to stand and You have given us breath.

Tonight LORD, I look out and see Your creation. I see real women who long for You to draw them to Your breast. I see women who long to live spiritually, not grieving You. I see women who want to be free to worship You in spirit and in truth.

LORD, as Ezekiel’s prophecy was for the Jewish people, I ask for the same for the GraceBearers women standing here tonight. Put Your Spirit within us.

“And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live,…then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the LORD” (Ezek 37:14 RSV).

LORD, I have drifted off into a prayer for GraceBearers night. Is it one I should use? I will not jump and say “yes” yet. If Ezekiel’s dry bones is for Mon. night, then I’ll contend in prayer until You give me not only the assurance that it’s the Scripture passage You have chosen but that You will send out Your Spirit to apprehend the women.

We know we are great sinners—but You have given us great promises. I will hold You to Your promises. I’m desperate to hold You to Your promises. Make me realize more desperateness.

LORD, I plead for more determination to be determined to endure in prayer. I will not be able to live with myself if nothing happens in GraceBearers this year—not because You didn’t come through, but because I didn’t preserve in prayer. You’re making my calling clear—and it’s prayer. Your SPIRIT has graciously led me in choosing GraceBearers Scripture but I can’t quit there.

If I run after GOD properly, I’ll not have time for prideful thoughts that always want to turn my head in the wrong direction. He’ll have me constantly pleading for something. O FATHER, teach me to pray—teach me to not leave Your throne room—teach me to cling desperately to You. Oh, to pray without ceasing.