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.)
Tonight 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.