Monday, October 19, 2009

The hope of prayer

It has been a difficult day and I now am faced with reevaluating the hopes and goals I had set for myself before I leave Colombia. This morning (Fri. Oct.16) I had a meeting with Father Alberto and Bishop Duke. It did not proceed as I had hoped. What I am left with, along with a few tears of frustration, is the comfort that I know God had it all under control. Not even meaning that everything that passed was God’s will, but that God will make something beautiful out of it all. If it is only my personal/spiritual growth.

The day before in a day of fasting it was placed on my heart to pray for the Holy Spirit to be present and facilitate communication during this meeting, even before I knew that the meeting was to be this morning (I now see why I was to pray; the Spirit really does move, neat). At the beginning of the meeting, to cover my bases, I prayed quietly again that the Spirit be upon us to facilitate the meeting. The result was that the Spirit was fully with me reminding me to keep my patience (breath deep and bite my tongue), when to keep my mouth shut and when to talk, thankfully keeping me from crying in front of the Bishop, Alberto and the treasurer (well, that was either the Spirit or my pride...humm, something else to reflect on).

Instead of focusing on this conversation I want to focus my sight on where God is in all of this. Over the past couple of weeks I have listened to an ipod workshop called “the hope of prayer”. Prayer has been a subject of curiosity and study for me over the past year(s). Just trying to understand how it work, how to do it and what God and Christ have to say about it. It has helped to refocus my energies and set me into a consistent prayer routine. That alone has made life more pleasant.

Having read about the troubles facing so many thousands of people here in Colombia, the abject poverty in the Philippines, the Sudan and South Africa, Haiti (only to name a few) I wonder where my frustrations fit into God’s to-do list, do I even have a right to get upset when I am living so comfortably and am so very blessed to have all of my need and the great majority of my wants met.

I have heard that hurt and suffering are objective. I am blessed beyond measure to be present to the truth of this world; the ugliness, the pain and suffering as well as the magnificent glory that we live in. My frustrations, pains and tears matter to God and whatever joys and sorrows your going through truly matter to the Lord. God loves us each with the fulness of His love, there is nothing we could do to deserve God, He just loves us, each one and is offering us His fulness every moment of every day. It is up to us if we will take hold of this offering. Through these children, women and men who live in undignified conditions, who are dying of hunger and disease, who are so heartbreakingly lonely is an invitation to take hold of all of God as we seek to humbly bring healing and comfort. It is good to keep our comfort in check and be willing to be a bit uncomfortable for the sake of our neighbors.
I have decided that God does not have a “to-do list”. Scripture promises us that God hears the prayers of all of his faithful followers if we would but pray without doubt, nothing will be denied us through prayer and fasting. It comes about that if we are followers of Christ seeking to do the will of God, the Lord works through us with the Holy Spirit to put prayers on our hearts. Praying without doubt is taking a moment to ask God if he wants me to pray for this or for that and really be open to the answer. I am finally learning to not talk quite so much, take a bit of time to listen....and ya’ know the difference has been remarkable. It is a beautiful thing to know the voice of God, even if it is a simple yes or no it brings me more comfort than anything I could buy or come up with on my own.
The prime message of “the hope of prayer” is that the ultimate objective of prayer is to bring us into oneness with the Lord God.
That is an Alpha - Omega message if I have ever heard one. The first and last objective of prayer is to be one with the Lord. Amen.
Remember I always appreciate hearing from you, don’t be a stranger. Be blessed, at peace and laugh out Loud!

LauraCatherine Conville

1 comment:

Keib said...

I saw your post at DAB and want you to read Anneke's posts. She is 22 and also a missionary and will be working in South Africa next year. She visited us in Namibia last week end and I thing you would love to meet such an honest person. Her name is Anneke Sikkema
God Bless