He Hears Us

June 29, 2010

I've spent the past few days reading What Happens When Women Pray by Evelyn Christenson.  This is such a solid book on prayer and, I think, a must-read for any woman who wants to fully understand how one should pray and the power prayer holds.  You have to keep in mind that the author is writing about an "experiment" she was asked to do back in 1968, so the voice is different, some of the language is old-fashioned, and every time she wants to stress the importance of an incident she makes sure to point out that she "called long distance."  I just got tickled every time a long distance call was mentioned because I don't really think anyone thinks about that anymore -- you know, with cell phones and Internet and e-mail. 

Now, I know HOW to pray, but Evelyn really gave me some fresh insight.  She stresses that we must "draw nigh" to God before we even begin to verbalize or think our prayers.  I have always had a difficult time being still and getting to that place, but I realize without that connection our prayers don't do much.  I think the principle that hit me the most was the need for confession -- of everything. 

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
Psalm 66:18
I'm so hateful.  I hold grudges, even when I think I've let something go.  I am FULL of pride.  I need to get over myself.  Truly, this has been eye-opening and life changing.  I'm the kind of person who will look at someone in church on Sunday morning who still has wet hair and think, "Well, I guess they could have put a little more effort into being ready to worship."  But guess who had damp hair this past Sunday morning...yep.  I'll also think things like, "She is on Facebook entirely too much -- she's here everytime I get online."  OK.  If you know me at all you know that my being critical of that is just absurd.  I spend entirely too much time on Facebook.  I gossip.  I am not a great manager of my money and resources.  I do not keep my physical appearance (including my body's fitness level) in top form.  I yell at my kids.  I roll my eyes at my husband (behind his back of course -- he does not like eye rolling).  

I don't exactly know why I'm putting all this out here.  I guess it is sort of an accountability thing.  Bottom line -- I think I made a lot of progress this week in terms of getting rid of the iniquity in my heart which is really no small thing.  I can tell you that it has made all the difference.  I am seeing answers.  Oh, and that was another thing.  I know I shouldn't pray for the answer I want -- I think we all know that.   Evelyn spends a lot of time discussing this as well.

Christenson also stresses the power of prayer groups and/or prayer partners.  I'm praying for partners!  She gives some solid rules that groups should follow and I just think it would be an amazing experience to be part of a group of women who prays this way.

So, if you've ever wanted to understand prayer more deeply, pick up this book.  If it teaches you as much as it's taught me, you should call me long distance!

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