Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not prefix or suffix

"Prayer is not a prefix or a suffix; it is central." -Corrie ten Boom, in Not Good if Detached

"Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God's people." Ephesians 6:18

I woke up yesterday in a fussy mood, having a bad attitude about everything (mentally, if not outwardly), so after breakfast I decided the morning needed to be spent alone with God. After a couple hours of wrestling in prayer and pondering the crazy story of Judges 19-20, I pulled out Not Good if Detached and picked up from where I'd left off about a month ago-the page with my favorite Corrie ten Boom quote about prayer.

Perfect timing on a Tuesday, especially this particular Tuesday. Childcare downstairs on Tuesdays is always crazy and exhausting, but this week we knew we would be missing two of our main helpers who are always there. And I had to help with transportation to get the women here, so that meant Jeanine would be the only adult helper for almost an hour. And, Moi San had been crying inconsolably all morning, and for some reason his behavior is like a foretelling of the attitudes of all the children that will be downstairs. I was very thankful God allowed me to have a few hours of uninterrupted prayer time!

I prayed for good conversation with the women I was picking up-one of the women who last week basically ignored me, opened up about her struggles both here and back in Africa and listened intently as I told her some of my story. It was thrilling to have her just bubbling over with things to say, and to find some common ground in our beliefs.

I prayed for joy amongst the helpers no matter what the kids were like-when Mama Odette asked me, "Do you have the peace of Jesus sister?" in her bold, African way, I was able to give her a hearty yes! Even in the moment where I was holding two screaming little boys who pulled my hair and slobbered all over my sweaty face, the joy in my heart wouldn't leave. And the other helpers were patient and overflowing with love for the kids even through the chaos of 24 infants and toddlers screaming.

I had looked all week at the chaos that was just bound for yesterday with dread-but God turned it into a beautiful lesson of the importance of bringing all my needs to Him. The only reason I am ever joyful is because of the work the Lord is doing in my heart, and that work requires dying to myself. I'd wanted to spend my morning checking email and facebook and any other number of selfish things that would have kept me from surrendering my attitude to Him-so He decided to keep my internet off.

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