My friend Stephanie Campbell, from Unfolding Lovely, is sharing her story today. It's about prayer!
When Kim asked me if I wanted to guest post on Winsome Woman, I had to close the email! Honestly.
I needed to pray. I needed to think.
This was my thought process: if I write for Kim’s blog, other people, people who don’t know me, are going to read my words. They’re going to read my heart. They’re going to hate me. Judge me. Wonder why Kim picked me – of all the people she could have asked.
Satan was tearing me to shreds.
I was letting him.
When I began to pray about it and get out of my own head – Christ reminded me to Whom I belong. I am His.
When I first became a believer, I fell into the trap that things had to be done like this or that… if not, it was all wrong. That we had to do this. Be that. Have this. Perform this way. It led me into a life of perfection. I wanted to be the perfect Christian. With the perfect little family.
I failed. I backslid. I couldn’t meet the expectations … the ones I put on myself!
Once I turned my eyes back toward Him, and the true relationship began, I learned about prayer. Not about the “thee, thou, ye, etc…” prayer – but the prayer of my heart.
You see, I was scared of prayer for a long time. Call it my inability to be vulnerable or my unwillingness to know that He actually cared enough to listen. I don’t know what it was.
I had a friend back then, she was a kind of mentor... a sweet mom, wife, and lover of Christ. She would pray out loud, so sweet and real. Oh! I wanted THAT! Every week when a small group of people would pray together, she would open and then allow time for anyone else to pray as well. I never did. Only once did she ask why. I told her I “didn’t do that” and she left it there. What I really meant was – I’m inadequate. I’m inept. I’m not eloquent.
Somewhere in the space between then and now, I’ve become an avid, ferocious, and very non-eloquent prayer warrior!
Ephesians 6:18 - praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Philippians 4:6-7 - do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – pray without ceasing,
That sweet woman who never pestered me about why I wouldn’t pray; taught me about prayer without me even knowing that’s what she was doing! She taught me about a conversation with the Maker of the universe by being an example to me.
I am thankful, grateful, overwhelmed with knowing that my God wants to know me so intimately. That He wants me to cry out to Him when I’m lonesome, happy, worried, joy-filled, scared, and even when I’m feeling inadequate.
My heart speaking to His heart. This – this – this is what He longs for! He has a desire to hold my heart, my hurts, my feelings of doubt within myself – I need only turn it over to Him. Surrender to Him. Depend on Him. He wants the first place in my heart so that He may fill me to overflowing.
“Prayer is not a check request asking for things from God. It is a deposit slip – a way of depositing God’s character into our bankrupt souls.” -Dutch Sheets
So, here I am – a few days after Kim asked about the post, with written post in hand. My heart hoping that at least one person reads this and is able to surrender her heart in prayer today in a way that’s she’s never done before.
God, thank You for today and this opportunity. We are so glad to have a place we can come and read words penned from places of wholeness and brokenness. A place filled with pain and joy. Women (and men!) who gather to glean from each other and walk away impacted. You have given us to each other – created ways for paths to cross, opened doors for women who love You so deeply to connect, and for that – we are all thankful! We love You and praise You, Lord! In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name, Amen!
Thank you, Stephanie! What a wonderful example of how God uses prayer to reveal His love and to give us courage!
How has God encouraged you through prayer?
As we give thanks for all His gifts, our hearts are prepared to celebrate The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Jesus. I'm so excited to read this daily devotional beginning December 1. We will be discussing it at Winsome Reads, a Facebook book club. Join us?!
I'm giving away a copy of The Greatest Gift!
The giveaway will be open through Sunday at midnight, and I will announce the winner on Monday. Enter below!
We're celebrating Thirty Days of Thanks by focusing on gratitude here for the month of November. Join us every day or any day by posting your thanks-givings in the comments, at Winsome Woman on Facebook, and/or on your own FB wall!
Labels: Guest Post, Thanks-Giving Stories, Thirty Days