Monday, March 16, 2009

prayer support

I remember a flaming evangelist of a Mennonite denomination who preached at our church when I was a young man some years ago. He stated that he wanted to go to New Mexico to share the gospel with Indians there. But that he did not, because he did not believe he'd have the prayer support he needed. I found that interesting, and one of those words I won't forget.

I have a wife in Deb who regularly gets on her knees beside our bed and prays for me when I have something to do or get done ministry-wise. I find this makes all the difference in the world. It's like the story of the woodpecker, pecking away on the pole. Lightening strikes the pole and it is broken, and the woodpecker takes a bow (something like that). God answers prayer and all we can do is recognize that, and thank him.

I have often gone off to ministry feeling anything but wanting to do what I needed to do, though I've learned long ago not to be moved by my feelings or lack of them. And I've seen what a difference Deb's faithfulness in praying for me has meant. Of course it works the other way as well. I need to be lifting her up in prayers, for God's blessing on and through her.

In the church we are to be praying for each other, and for God's servants in ministry. This is no less than a spiritual effort, but we often want to fight a spiritual battle with "sticks and stones." But ongoing prayer in the Spirit is what's needed.

I'm thankful to God for my wife, for her example, and for her practice. And together hopefully we'll grow in praying. And see God move mountains to impact the lives of others for profound good, by the Spirit through Jesus who himself faithfully intercedes in prayer for us.

What would you like to share on this?

13 comments:

nAncY said...

thank you for sharing this wonderful part of your lives.

i agree with you, that it is
very good to pray for one another and not something that we always remember as being the support that it truly is.

L.L. Barkat said...

Funny, it is so hard for me to put those three words together...

flaming... evangelist... Mennonite.

Wow.

(Hey, I'll accept your poems whenever you begin. : )

Every Square Inch said...

thanks for sharing, Ted. Prayer is not one of my strengths - I think it indicates that I'm sinfully self reliant but it is my hope that I can grow into the kind of faithfulness that your wife models.

nAncY said...

here is the new address for my blog...

http://nancnote.blogspot.com/

nAncY said...

did l.l. say a poem when ever you begin?

oh, do begin!

yipeng said...

After a whole letter of the most practical things... James reminds us in 5:19-20 that what we do (or do not do) has spiritual consequences.

Battles that appear to require "Stick and stones" actually need prayer.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Yes, it's easy to forget, unfortunately.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
Yes. ha. I'll never forget him, an older man, probably many years in ministry by that time. He would have been a flaming evangelist in any circle.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,

...yes, a poem. Well, the hard part will be to get started I suppose. And right now is a most busy time for me. But hopefully I'll give it a try in April.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
My wife seems to have a special relationship with God, not on the charismatic side as known today, though she does have some unusual experiences with God. So I think her praying is a part of that.

I do like Thomas Merton's quote I posted this past Saturday, to the effect that we're ever and always beginners when it comes to prayer. It's something we don't ever master.

But your point is well taken. We don't pray in part, because we have little or no sense of need.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy. Yes, I'll give it a whirl.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yipeng,
Your words remind me of Paul's words to the effect that our battle is not physical but spiritual, and mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds.

Too often we forget that, or I do, anyhow.

nAncY said...

and mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds...

those words to brother yipeng gives me pause...gives me chills down my spine, i a good and strong way, in a pay attention kind of way.