I pray all the time. Sometimes my prayers are emotional praises where the presence of God covers me and triggers me to praise more. And sometimes my prayers are more like a desperate women in weird situations: "Lord Jesus, I need you to come right now because I'm about to say something I shouldn't...no, please hurry, it's coming...Jesus, please shut my mouth, like right now, ahhhhh!"
But everyday, without fail, I pray and give thanks for my husband, my children, my immediate and extended families, my friends, my day job work, and my writing, among other things.
Sometimes I witness the fruits of those prayers and other times, I know God is working more behind the scenes.
This weekend, I was able to witness years of prayers come together.
First, I will lift up Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. My husband, son and I attended Freshman Orientation the past couple of days. The polish they use in their branding and marketing is a genuine reflection of who they are rather than a sales tactic to reach parents. This University and all of its faculty and staff are authentically invested in the spiritual and educational fiber of each and every student. They adore their students. They challenge their students. I left there confident in the knowledge that my child, yes CHILD, is in the hands of adults covered in the truth of the Lord, who will continue to shape my son to be a great man, husband, and father. From his coach on the offensive line to his instructors in criminal justice, I know I will continue to witness the power of the prayers I've prayed from the time of his conception.
On this visit, he met a new friend. An immediate bond was formed. By the end of the session, we learned we had sat with his parents at dinner the first night AND his parents were who we sat with at the football camp a year ago. I praise God and wonder at his mighty works because he was forming and weaving this relationship long ago. And I am so excited knowing His hands are working their relationship for the future. I, too, have new friends in Christ and praise Him for answered prayers.
Please take a moment to visit Olivet Nazarene University, especially if you are looking for a solid, Christian University!
I have also prayed for my writing. With each meme I create, blog I post and word I write in Ruth's Garden, I pray that it provokes someone to open their bible and get into the word of God. I don't always post the verse in my blogs, because I pray that someone will recognize the context and be moved by the spirit to look it up themselves. I pray that at least one person is hit - right in the feels. I know that Jesus is moving when I get fewer 'click-throughs' but emails of testimony, than I do with tons of click throughs and no response. We serve a mighty God.
In Ruth's Garden, I try and do the same. I pray over my writing and reconstruct anything 'preachy' in the first drafts to a scene that will make people put my book down and pick up His book. I am so thankful for all of the previous contest feedback that helped my writing take steps forward. This weekend, while at the Orientation, I found out I won Third Place in the Almost an Author contest (for unpublished authors) at the Write-to-Publish conference in Wheaton, Illinois. May my prayers and gratitude be always to bring Him the glory.
And finally, my prayers for my daughter, who shoulders mighty responsibility for her young age, were met when I came home to find her chin up after a rough week at work, her spirit light, and her heart full. She is an amazing young lady and I know she will not choose traditional routes in life. God answers my prayers each day and reminds me that is okay, because he is working on things unseen. Each time I have a conversation with the Lord about her, he always responds with "mighty and brave."
I must say, I'm a little excited and a little afraid of those words for her. But my fear is unfounded, of course and until the answers to my prayers become visible (if at all), I will continue to pray. Always.