Monday, July 7, 2014

Worshippers and Puppy Rescuers: Learning About the Heart of Jesus!

            Today we had the beautiful adventure of walking and praying on Houston Ave. We began by praying inside Inheritance House (check out the article in this newsletter for more about Inheritance House and how it began).  I really felt like I should pray for every part and piece of the house to come into alignment with His Kingdom.  So we stood in the house asking our Father for what we needed.  We prayed for deeper trust to believe His promises and the faith to rest in what He said.  Alicia, Audrey, and I stood in a circle casting each concern on Jesus.  Whether it was for restoration of the house, the funding for a mission trip, or for our families, we gave it all to him.  It was a picture of I Peter 5:6-7:  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

            Later we were able to share this principle with a couple of women we encountered while walking and praying.  As soon as we saw Ms. R, I knew we’d be praying for her.  I had never met her before, but the Lord highlighted her to me.  It was as if He was saying, “I care for her and I sent you to pray for her.  Let her know she can give me all the things she is concerned about because I am concerned about her.”  Ms. R was very receptive to these prayers.  She kept telling us, “We shol (sure) need it.  We shol need those prayers.” She was also concerned about our safety though.  I’m not sure how much we put her at ease when we told her the neighborhood was changing and that the very people she was telling us to watch out for were the reason we were there to pray.

            Ms. R is very aware of the battle going on, but it isn’t a flesh and blood battle.  I was excited about that because it awakened a true to life understanding of the next verses in the passage in 1 Peter 5:  “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5: 8-11 ESV). The next instruction after casting our cares is to be sober-minded and watchful.  We aren’t called to be worriers, but we are called to be warriors! 

            We have everything we need to fight. If it were a flesh and blood battle Alicia, Audrey, and I would have been completely devoured.  But Jesus has already defeated the devil and any principality or demon that would try to come against us.  As surely as we left Ms. R to continue walking, praying, and worshipping, a young man was walking and yelling what seemed like some sort of rap lyrics up and down the same ground we had just covered.  I couldn’t help wondering if he was even really aware of what he was shouting or how much Jesus loves him.  I couldn’t help but to want him on my team—shouting praises to Jesus, the most high God, so we continued to pray.

            We encountered a few more people I’d gotten to know from previous prayer walks.  We were able to encourage them with the exact things the Lord was encouraging us with: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 NLT).  We were able to practice this principle too.  We walked and prayed about everything and worshipped and thanked Him for what he had done.


Audrey petting the puppies!
            Just when we thought we were nearing the end of our prayer walk.  Audrey called out to the owner of several puppies, “Nice puppies.”  The owner replied with, “Do you want one?” Audrey agreed to take them all.  She explained her willingness to take them and find a place for them all, “Those puppies are truly defenseless, even more so than people.”  The Lord used Audrey’s puppy rescuing heart to remind me of His heart for those who are defenseless, which actually includes us all.  He is willing to take in us all.  And that was what this prayer walk was about.  It was about praying and fighting for those that could not pray and fight for themselves. Without Jesus we are truly defenseless.  What a privilege to pray for those Satan intends to devour, snatch back those that Satan thinks he has, and be completely hidden in worship the whole time!