April 15, 2004

Encouragement for Today

 

“In Over My Head”

Micca Campbell - Assistant Director of certified speakers, Certified Speaker/Writer

 

 

Key Verse:

 

Romans 1:9b, God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God.

 

 

Devotion:

 

The phone rang early Saturday morning. “She’s gone,” my mom said with sadness in her voice.

 

Suddenly, memories of my aunt at family functions and holidays flashed in my mind. I knew it was going to be hard on my uncle who for seven years lovingly cared for his wife, a precious lady with Alzheimer’s. Gregg, their only son would be crushed, too, at the loss of his mother. I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed. I prayed that God would minister His abundant grace and comfort to them both. Mostly, I prayed that God would come along side of them and lighten the burden of grief they carry.

 

My mother always told me to be careful what I prayed for. “You just may get it!” she insisted. Little did I know that God not only answers the prayers we pray for others, but often, the one who prays is the one He uses to bring about the answer.

 

The day of the funeral had arrived. My uncle and his son were trying to keep their composure under heavy hearts. Being exhausted from grief, it seemed that the preacher went on a bit long. My Granny, who is 94 years old, was sitting on the front row. The more the preacher spoke, the more Granny began to squirm and look around. Each of us was holding our breath in fear of what she was thinking. Then, speaking loudly because of her decreased hearing, she looks at my mother and hollers, "Is he gonna preach all day!" Her voice echoed throughout the room! To my surprise, giggles filled the air instead of the disgraceful gasps I had expected. Somehow the giggles were a comforting break from the burden of grief and prolonged service.

 

After the preacher concluded his message, my uncle and cousin said a few words and we were all in tears again. While tissue boxes and comforting hugs were making their way about the room, they began rolling the casket outside. Everyone filed behind it in a quiet, sniffling reverence.

 

It was pouring down rain. An old wives tale says that it only rains when good people die. That was particularly true on this day. My mother reached out to hold my arm so she wouldn't fall. And I was proud to assist.

 

Just as we got to the car, mom let go of my arm and grabbed onto the car door. That’s when I slipped! Both of my legs went up into the air, my dress went over my head, and I came down in a split! I didn’t even know I could do a split.

 

Everyone could have ignored me, but no. They rushed to my side and asked, “Are you okay?” I was horrified! My mother stood there laughing so hard that her body shook and tears ran down her face. Finally, gaining control of herself, she began to speak. I anticipated her saying, “Are you okay honey?” Instead, she said, “Thanks, we needed that!” The crowd began to laugh as well, with apologies of course between each chuckle.

 

As I stood there, providing the entertainment, it dawned on me. This must be God’s way of giving us a break from our grief. I did ask God to lighten their burden, but why did He have to use me? Then I remembered that it is often the one who prays the prayer that becomes the vessel through which God works.

 

So the next time you know someone who is in over their head, be prepared to not only pray for them, but be willing to be the answer as well.

 

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Lord, each day I pray for my family and friends. Today, I want to be the answer. In word or deed allow me to bless each one of them in a special way. In Jesus’ name. A-men.

 

 

Applications Steps:

 

Look for ways to brighten someone’s day. Write an encouraging note to your child and put it in their lunch box. Take your husband on a surprise picnic during his lunch hour. Take cookies and coffee over to your neighbor and enjoy each other’s company. Listen to what others desire or dream about, then try and make it come true!

 

 

Reflection Points:

 

How often do you pray for the needs of others?

 

Do you ask others how you can pray for them?

 

Have you experienced the joy of answered prayer in someone’s life – a life you’ve prayed for and know you were apart of it? If not, why?

 

In what ways can you be a blessing to others?

 

How can you help be the answer to someone’s prayer?

 

 

Power Verses:

 

I Kings 8:28, Listen to my prayer and my request, O LORD my God. Hear the cry of the prayer that your servant is making to you today. (NIV)

 

Psalms 66:19, But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. (NIN)

 

Psalms 118:21, thank you for answering my prayer and saving me! (NIV)

 

Colossians 4:2, Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (NIV)

 

James 5:15, and their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. (NIV)

 

 

Additional Resources:

 

Prayer that Changes Lives  by Mary Southerland

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/prayerset.html

 

Radically Obedient Radically Blessed by Lysa Terkeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/p31woman.html