Tag Archives: Prayer

All the Feels

As a pensive observer and possessor of an empathetic heart, I frequently feel all the feels.

An acquaintance’s daughter died of cancer. Felt the feels.
A friend’s nephew died in a drowning accident. Felt the feels.
I watched my niece’s joy-filled reaction as she devoured ice cream. Felt the feels.
I had one of a treasured many heart-to-heart conversations with a cherished friend who bared her faith and fear. Felt the feels.

I will tell you — and those closest to me will confirm — that I often walk around as if I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Why would that be? I walk closely with the Savior of my soul. I have a fire-tested, unceasing faith in God. I believe in miracles and have seen many transpire. I have a loving family. I have amazingly supportive and hilarious friends. I have a fabulous job that I love. I own my home. I drive a reliable vehicle. I have money. I have my health.

I have access to joy unspeakable and yet I’m morose.

Just yesterday, I spent a good bit of time trying to crack this conundrum. As a result, I’ve a revelation.

I’m an intercessor.

You may wonder what that is. Well, it’s a person who intervenes on behalf of others, especially by prayer.

Knowing I’m an intercessor is not a new reality. I’ve known it for years. At times, I intercede in prayer as much as I should. At times, I don’t. When I say I’ll pray for you, I really will. And sometimes I’ll even make you stop what you’re doing, ask you sit with me, ask you to let me hold your hand, and ask you to let me pray for you then and there.

Most of the time, I’m not all that bothered by the fact that I don’t exercise my prayer muscle as I should. I know I need to pray more than I do. And I just don’t. I feel bad for awhile and then go along with life. However, lately, the atrophy of that powerful tool has been eating at me.

I’m quite convinced that I will not be able to proceed through these dark days for the joy set before me if I do not remedy this atrophy. The weight of observing the world crashing around me will crush me. The sadness of watching those I know and those I love endure pain will consume me. I can mourn with those who mourn to the nth degree, but I must do more than that.

It’s time for me to fight. It’s time for me to take back the ground that has been casually captured over time. It’s time to take action against the apathetic and make strides against the struggle.

I have an identity in Christ and part of that identity is to intercede for others (and myself, of course). I must acknowledge and contend with all the feels and take those feelings and turn them into prayers of faith, thanksgiving, warfare and breakthrough.

I was given a heightened sense and observation for a reason. And that reason is to pray. The old adage remains true: Prayer changes things. And if I’m exceedingly frustrated with life as we know it (and I am) then I can be the change I wish to see in the world one word, one prayer, one intercession, one choice to believe, one more ask-seek-knock at a time.

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There Will Be a New Water Tower Man on the Horizon

Murfreesboro water towerA few weeks ago, I took a walk on the Stones River Greenway during my lunch break. I work in downtown Murfreesboro, so I was actually able to walk from the office down to the Greenway. Walking to the Greenway makes me look a whole lot healthier than merely driving to the Greenway. It gives me at least 15 more exercise bonus points. And in this imaginary land where every exercise is made up and the points don’t matter, I totally won that day.

*pauses*

Wow, this blog is a whole lot sillier than I ever thought it would be! My attempt is to make a serious point about something very sacred and hallowed and revered…

…and often despised and wanted-escaped-from and cursed-at…

Singleness. Seemingly never-ending singleness. No-man, nothin-on-the-horizon singlehood. Reverse widowhood–the losing of a husband before he is ever discovered in the first place. Whoa! Sounds serious!

I’ve got to be honest, it appears that there is no man on my horizon. And what am I to see, anyway? As the one to be pursued. As the lady in waiting. As the outwardly (while inwardly fighting to be) content, confident, rolling-up-on-thirty woman.

I know the godly, correct answers to those nagging questions. I am to see Jesus Christ. I am to see Jesus as my husband. I am to see me as His Bride. I am to remember that people aren’t even married in heaven anyway. I am to see my season as a gift. I am to treasure my time of singleness. I am to know that I am still single for a very important reason. I am to trust that I am most effective in my ministry in this current time as a single woman. I am to be a lot of things. And I am those things. Usually…

This blog isn’t a complaint-riddled rant. No, no. It is an epistle of revelation about one of my favorite things: water towers.

I grew up in a small, small town. For much of my time there, we didn’t even have a water tower! We were the only town in that area that didn’t have a water tower! So, naturally, as a girl deprived of this fantastic marvel of modern humanity, I became fascinated with the city landmark that we didn’t have. Every town I went to, I searched for the water tower. I memorized what each one said. I planned special driving routes just to make sure I’d get the best scope of the water pressure wonder.

At some point in my childhood, my town finally got a water tower. It is situated just behind the hospital where my mom works.  I remember walking or biking up to visit my mom while she was at work. But also to visit the water tower. Just to look at it. To watch how it was made. To continually comment how it looked like a golf ball tee upside down with a golf ball situated on it. My animated mind always imagined that the water tower golf ball would eventually fall off balance and crush the buildings beneath it and flood the surrounding area.

Oh, yes, the Greenway. I was walking on the Greenway. Allow me to return to my story. As I was exercising my left and right foot down the asphalt path, I found myself thinking about water towers again because Murfreesboro just built a new one. We have so many already, but now we have another. I’ve watched the different phases of construction in the last several weeks. I’ve driven down Broad Street for the sole purpose of getting a better look at the water tower.

Greenway water tower

That day, as I was walking and praying along the Greenway, I had a revelation. Crossing over the bridge and turning the corner toward the Manson Pike trailhead, the new water tower came in to full view in front of me.

I realized that the horizon in front of me had changed. Every other time I had walked down that path, all I saw was trees. Now, the water tower is there. And it fits right in, as if it’s been there forever.

Before the bridge, I was praying for one of my friends. After I crossed the bridge and saw the water tower, I began praying for my future husband. Not purposefully. My prayers just flowed into that next subject.

In those moments, God spoke to me. He said, “Your future husband will be like this water tower. You don’t see him right now, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not building him up. He’s not on your horizon, but he could be in a few months. Just like this water tower. He’ll stand tall. He’ll be a carrier of pure, living water. He will bring life and vitality to this city. Don’t get discouraged that you don’t see him yet. Things can happen quickly. Don’t fear that you’ll have to go through a long process to become comfortable with him being in your life. Like the water tower, it will seem natural and familiar.”

God can change landscapes. He can build water towers.

I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to feel like I’m behind if I’m not already some guy’s friend. It’s much better for me not to be pining after someone that I interact with on a regular basis. Maybe I am already the friend of my future husband and I just don’t know it yet.

Shortly after this awesome revelation, I had to turn around and head back to the office. I set a timer on my phone so it would alert me halfway through so I could get back just in time. Well, actually, I turned around a few minutes early because I didn’t want to walk through a muddy spot on the path. It had rained the few days prior to this walk.

Almost seconds after I turned around, I heard the train whistle blowing. One can never be sure how long a train will take to go through an intersection. And I had to walk over the train tracks to get over to the other part of the path. But I didn’t mind. Nope. I was actually excited. Because I also like trains. I was enamored as I watched the train pass by so close to me. And I got to see an invigorating site. train on the Murfreesboro Greenway

The train was stacked with two cars on top of each other. I’d seen this a few times before. But never had I seen the two-stacked-train pass under a bridge. It was surprisingly dramatic to watch the cars pass just beneath the bottom of the bridge. They didn’t slow down. They rattled on. This visualization was a continuation of the previous revelation.

Once again, God used what I saw in front of me as a point of encouragement. “You see the cars?” He said.

“Yes, I do. Very interesting! I’m grateful that I got to see this!”

“The train’s locomotive engineer knows that the train will pass under the bridge,” He said. “He knows that there won’t be a collision. He trusts that each town has made sure the bridge is high enough. And he trusts that there is enough room for the train to clear the bridge.”

“Uh huh,” I replied, eager to hear more.

“You’ve got to trust that I’m the locomotive engineer. You have to know that I see the bridges ahead of you. You won’t collide into something and crash. There is clearance to pass through the track you’re on. You don’t have to slow down at each intersection. You don’t have to look at what’s in front of you and worry that you won’t make it through.”

Not only can God change landscapes, He’s also a magnificent locomotive engineer.

*smiles*

I really enjoyed that day. And I’m quite thrilled that I can share this story with whoever it is that reads this.

I am not entirely sure who is in my reading audience. Some of you may be familiar with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. What happened to me on that day probably won’t seem odd to you.

And there may be others who think that I’m crazy because I said that God spoke to me.

If any one of you has questions, please post a comment. If you want to discuss any of this, I’m up for it.

Writing a War

I wish I could write a war

And win it with a word

My pen alone cannot prevail

But prayer can

Move heaven

And shake the earth

Until all the silt is sifted away

You can depend on me

To pen and pray these prayers

And fiercely fight

With every word I write

Captive Audience

Tonight I went to my second Murfreesboro Writers’ Group meeting. The first time I went, I read a song I recently wrote while on a plane ride. It was called “Fragmented Patches.” Maybe I’ll post it later. I don’t know. Do you want to read it?

I joined the writers’ group for a few reasons. I want to meet new people. I work at home so I have a limited workplace sphere of influence. Through this group, I can influence people. I haven’t been writing very much and I wanted motivation to start again. I have nothing else to do on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. I used to have Life Group that night, but ours now meets on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

This writers’ group is a HUGE witnessing opportunity. Huge. Huge. As you’re surely aware, writing is a deeply personal activity. Writers write what they feel. And, if they claim to have no feelings, they make up characters who have the feelings the writer is denying.

What you may or may not know about writers is that they generally value each other’s work highly. For example, this particular writers’ group is for constructive criticism only. There is no tearing down of work, thought or concepts. There are many compliments. Several people are impressed by other people. A lot of the attendees in this group are writing novels and short stories. I am mostly focusing on poetry. When I read a poem, some of the writers have no concept of how to construct a poem. They are in awe of the entire poetry genre. To them, it’s a terribly interesting thing that they like but don’t know how to do.

As I was casually seated in my oversized Barnes and Noble chair, I quickly realized how crucial this opportunity is for me. I can write about whatever I want and they have to sit there and listen to me. The same goes for them. I have to sit there and listen to whatever they say too.

I am a Christian. My life is Christ. Naturally, I write about Jesus/God/the Holy Spirit/worship. Some of these folks “aren’t religious.” Those are their words, not mine. But they are intrigued by the things I’ve written and shared. They find what I say interesting and eloquent.

That’s good, because I prayed they would. I asked God to soften their hearts and make them receptive to the Truth that I’ll deliver. I also asked Him to protect me from any harmful subject matter that the other writers detail.

My first week, I read the part of a flirty, vampire girl. That’s so not my life. But this lady was writing a play and she needed people to read the lines. That was the part I was given.

I’ve heard stories of other-worldly mutant dogs; vampires; back-from-the-dead brothers; a pre-meditated, adultery-headed man; sword-chasing, sci-fi fantasy characters and a seriously demented mortician. Oh the imagination writers have!

And to that spattering of ideas and fantasies, it’s my task to bring Jesus.

I must be intentional with the stuff I present. I have a captive audience. Literally. In two ways. One, they are captive and must pay attention to what I say. Two, they are captives, bound in the lies of the enemy. With the truth that I share through my poems/songs/potential novels, I will hope they see freedom. And, in turn, desire to grasp that freedom.

So, if you’re reading this and you believe in Jesus, please pray for me. I have a unique and powerful opportunity. I’m very excited. I like being spurred to write again, too. It’s such a catharsis for me. I get a little giddy thinking about the possibilities of the words that will come out.

Ms. Piano Lady

Hear ye! Hear ye! Starting next Tuesday, Lindsay is going to the School of Worship in Franklin, TN, to learn to play piano and become a better, more versatile worship leader!! She is so excited!

For years, I’ve wanted to play the piano. In recent months, I’ve really been desiring to learn an instrument to enhance my worship experience and skill. Last Tuesday at New Song’s Worship Arts gathering, Nate Sallie announced that he created a worship school. It really piqued my interest so I called him and left a message Wednesday inquiring about that.

I also prayed for confirming words from God about this. I received specific scripture last night in my time with the Lord. And two of my friends affirmed the piano thing before I even mentioned to them what instrument I was thinking about. Last night, I prayed that Nate would contact me today and that would be my confirmation further. Well, he just called and we determined I’ll start next Tuesday. One of Rebecca St James’ piano players will be my instructor. She’s apparently a great teacher and I’ll learn a lot from her. I’m so excited!

Please pray for me as I enter into this time. Each class lasts a month and I can take as many as necessary. Woot!

Fulfillment

As promised, I shall write about something God was speaking to me on Sunday.  Honestly, as I wracked my brain trying to remember that specific thing to write this blog, I couldn’t remember.  Every time that I read the Bible, God reveals something new to me.  So each day, there’s a new revelation.  It’s wonderful.  My church really promotes reading the Bible every day and reading the whole Bible in its entirety every year.  I’m a firm believer in that, as well.  If you’ve never read the whole Bible, I recommend it.  And no, don’t give me that, “The Old Testament is boring and I don’t get it,” junk.  There is SO much in the Old Testament!  It is so interesting!  Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus and the coming of the Messiah.  It’s amazing.  Ask God to reveal things to you when you read the Bible and He will.  Simple.

On to what I learned on Sunday!  My pastor was talking about how often the words fulfill and fulfillment are used in Matthew.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (OT).  Jesus fulfilled God’s wrath.  Jesus fulfills everything we need. 

Hold up!  Stop right there.  Jesus fulfills everything we need.  That sentence stops me.  It stopped me Sunday and it stops me now.  I’ve been asking myself, “Does Jesus really fulfill me?  Am I content with Him?  Or am I fruitlessly pursuing other, empty, never satisfying things?”

Sadly, the answer for that query is that Jesus often doesn’t fulfill me.  He’s more than able to do that, but I don’t let Him.  I’m so busy chasing after things I think will fulfill that He doesn’t even get the opportunity.  Take food, for example.  Tons of people eat to try and fill a void.  I used to do that.  If I’m not careful, I still do that.  People hunger for attention and affection, so they eat food.  Does that make sense?  No.  Not at all. 

Another area of fulfillment is lust.  Lust is a product of the flesh.  The flesh always wants something.  Bigger, better, more expensive, more sleek, more interesting stuff.  The flesh, in the biblical standpoint, is the opposite of the Spirit.  Spirit is of God.  Flesh is of fallen man.   The flesh never stops lusting.  So, how would I stop lusting?  I’d have to live in the Spirit and let God be my fulfillment.

I often lust for candy or pop or new, expensive gadgets.  And now, instead of relentlessly pursuing those things until I get them, I’m going to seek God first.  Lust is only a quest for fulfillment.  Jesus fulfills everything I’ll ever need.  So, instead of chasing the object, I’m going to chase God.  Chasing lust is empty.  

It’s natural to hunger for fulfillment.  But it’s not healthy to hunger for material things.  I need to take my natural hunger and turn it toward something fulfilling: Jesus.

Here’s how I’m going to apply this:  The next time I’m really lusting after something, I’m going to immediately start praying and read the Bible.  I’m going to fill myself with things that satisfy.  I know I’ll feel full after a time of intimacy with Jesus.  

Well, that’s it.  That was my giant revelation.    May seem simplistic but I think it’s profound.

You either swallow the Enemy or let him out

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll probably remember a few posts about my prayer walks at MTSU (the local college).  If you haven’t been a faithful reader, then I’ll explain.  Basically, I took prayer walks on the MTSU campus all summer long.  I also continued to take them after school started up again.  Well, after I started working at the temp agency, I didn’t take the walks as often as I wanted to.  And, I eventually stopped a little over a month ago.

Since I stopped prayer walking, there have been two shootings and one stabbing on campus.  Knowing I hadn’t prayer walked in so long and hearing about all of those violent things happening really convicted me.  So, today I Trikked to campus and took some time to pray and seek God for specific scripture for the campus/my life/the city/the church.

And, as always, God did not disappoint.  While there, I had a great time of prayer and I also received a few awesome scriptures. 

1 Samuel 2:1-10 — What first caught my attention was verse 10.  “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces.”  While thinking about all of the violence on campus, it was comforting to read that all of the evil that was so prevalent would be destroyed.  I was reading these verses in the New Spirit Filled Life (NSFL) Bible.  It’s the New King James Version.  The NSFL Bible has great explanations, especially for verse one.  The verse says, “I smile at my enemies…”  The explanation for that verse said it was a cross reference for another verse that means an open mouth devouring enemies. 

My next scripture was Isaiah 29:9-24.  It talks about praising God with lip service but not sincerely praising Him.  It’s idle religion without an honest relationship with God.

And finally, I was led to Psalm 111 and 112.  Psalm 111 is an example of the correct way to praise God as a congregation.  Psalm 112 talks about delighting in the Lord (i.e. smiling at Him).

After reading all of this scripture God gave me two visions.

One was of an open, smiling mouth of praise that devoured the Enemy (as the 1 Samuel passage said).

The second was of a mouth speaking the words of the Enemy: idle religion, division, disunity and lies like that of the people in the Isaiah scripture.

The church of America has become irrelevant.  It’s like the people in Isaiah.  Idle religion.  Lip service. 

The church of America needs to be like the 1 Samuel passage and those two Psalms.  We need to delight in the Lord.  We need to smile at Him and, consequently, devour our Enemy. 

The tongue speaks life and death.  The mouth either devours or releases the Enemy.