“Hannah kept wailing even when Eli the priest mistook her for a drunk and questioned her sincerity. She simply set the record straight by telling him, ‘I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief'” (1Samuel 1: 15-16).
She didn’t care how she looked as she prayed. God knew her heart…
We know Hannah for her sorrow… She longed for a son, but couldn’t have children. We know her for her faithfulness. She never gave up hope that God would hear her prayer. We also know her for her sacrifice. She dedicated her baby Samuel to the Lord and left him at the temple to serve God “all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11).
Hannah is one of the most recognizable women in Scripture for all these reasons. Many of us remember her story for her deep anguish over not being a mother. We all most likely recall her time at the temple, taking her request to God in powerful prayer. And what mom wouldn’t be impacted by Hannah’s bold move – leaving her little blessing at the temple to be raised by Eli the priest?
And did you know after God answered her prayer for a child to deliver her from her barrenness, God continued to answer the prayers for Hannah? She had two more sons and three daughters– while Samuel“grew up in the presence of the Lord” (>1 Samuel 2:21).
Hannah trusted God without doubt or concern. Her reverent fear of the Lord was just one more quality of her godly character.
We have to get serious in our prayer lives.
We have to determine that we will hang on and not stop believing until we see an answer.
That’s what Hannah did year after year.
She “showed up.”
She entered her conversations with God broken, resentful, bitter, unhappy, defeated and moaned like a drunken woman. She was herself without pretense.
Do you not think God knows our humaness?
But one year Hannah decided to focus on God and His provision instead of dwelling on her unchanging circumstances. Hannah did something that brought her into the inner courtyard of God’s presence: she prayed with determination.
And her relationship with God went from the possible to the personal, from inactive to active, from nominal to phenomenal.
I heard a teaching today about prayer…but not the way we ususally think of prayer…the point was being made that God already knows what we have need of before we even ask. Ever think of that…and have you ever questioned why, if He already knows, do we need to pray about it?
Because my long journey with the Lord has been a constant pondering about prayer and how to do it. There are so many types of prayer and where do we start?
What has really set me free is the fact that I have pressed into a very personal relationship with a very real God through His Son Jesus and the freedom has come in my “just talking to Him”.
So, I prefer to call prayer, “talking to Jesus”…It just makes it more personal to me.
That teacher this morning said we pray to Him to release our own FAITH….
MY FAITH ACTIVATES MY PRAYERS IN HIS PRESENCE.
That is why we ask!
It is acknowledging the fact that you are believing Him for His absolute involvement in your life and your desires, your healings, your journey….
There are many types of ways to pray, or talk to God.
Right now I am studying about Warfare.
We know we don’t fight flesh and blood, but principalities and wickedness in high places. We are seated in the heavenly realm in the spirit to adequately combat the enemy and all his forces of hell that want to defeat us on every level. But we have the power that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelling on the inside of us. We have the power to fight off those wicked spirits and be victorious.
Having been beaten down and disappointed, do you find it hard to boldly and specifically ask God for something in prayer?
I know I do.
But here Hannah was, at the lowest point in her life, offering up a request that she had probably thought a thousand times. The Bible says we don’t receive because we don’t ask. Don’t give up on asking for what you most desire. And do it believing that God gives good gifts to those who ask because He does, and He is a rewarder of all who seek Him.
Let’s not linger at the gate of God’s presence, going through the motions of worshipping God and yet holding sadness and bitterness in our hearts.
Let’s count ourselves as ones who have been brushed by His greatness and honored to have the profound privilege of talking to God on every level and make our requests known.
Let’s rejoice that He gave His power to us to combat the evil one dwelling on this earth. And we can do that well. It just takes determination!
He did NOT leave us here powerless and defeated. But as His children, we are equipped to walk within His Kingdom in the here and now.
I used to agonize over how my children and grandchildren would turn out. When I saw them making poor choices I would try to ‘fix it’ for them so they wouldn’t experience the pain I knew was sure to come.
When they were little it was easier to do this and be in complete control of what their choices were…but as they got older and became their own person I began to realize I was losing that control, and fear would grip me.
As a parent you learn with each new year in the upbringing of your children that each year you have to let go a little more if you want them to learn how to grow up and make good choices. From the time that baby takes his first step he is always moving away from you. Oh, at first they toddle into your arms, but soon they start toddling off to explore on their own.
And the years accumulate…and one day you have grandchildren. As a grandparent you feel a whole new set of worries and even more the lack of control as your offspring grows and develops.
The cycle goes on and one.
All throughout my children’s lives I prayed Psalm 91 over them and it brought me great peace for His constant intervention in their lives.
That because “they dwell in the secret place of the Most High they shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty Whose power no foe can withstand.”
And I would pray the whole 91st Psalm through with their names right in there.
I also prayed Isaiah 54:13
“And all my children shall be disciples, taught by the Lord and obedient to His will, and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of my children.”
Now, my adult children have learned the value of praying the words of God’s own protection over their own families.
One day as I was praying for my grand kids and trying to not worry about their lives that I had less control over, Jesus spoke to me.
This is what He said:
“Dixie, did you not pray my word over your children all the years they were growing up?”
“Yes, Lord, you know I did.”
“Do you think my word returns to me void? That it just fades away, or does it accomplish the very thing you have prayed in the lives of your children ?”
“I believed and have witnessed your word at work in them always, and I know they love you and are protected by you..so the answer is YES!”
“Do you believe your grandchildren are your children too? And are They a part of you?”
Starting to get it now, I said, “Why, yes they are!” Then He said,
“That same word that you prayed for so many years for your babies, now covers your grand babies as well…my word never stops and always accomplishes what I sent it out to do. Your faithfulness to pray will cover your generation and generations to come will know me because of your prayers.”
Light Dawning!! Wow!
So, here is what He showed me.
Back in the time of Moses, Pharaoh felt threatened by the Israelites and ordered all the midwives to kill any baby boys born to the Israelite people by drowning them in the Nile River.
But Moses’ mother wouldn’t have it. She hid him as long as she could, and when she could no longer hide him, she put him in a basket and put the basket in the water among the reeds of the Nile.
The very river that could have drowned him was now his refuge.
She had no idea what would happen to her baby, but she trusted the plan of God for her and her baby.
As we know, baby Moses was drawn out of the water and would one day grow to become one of the greatest heroes of the Bible – the one who would rescue God’s people from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land.
There comes a time – many times, actually – in the lives of our children where we have to put the basket in the water. Being a Mom, and a Nana I have had to do this many times and not without much pain.
Gosh, it is so hard to let go of them, isn’t it?
We have to let go and trust the plan of the Father. The world is a scary place – a place where we fear our children could drown. But we must remember that we have to let go so that God can draw them from the waters for His great purpose. He has called us to be their parents, but they were His first.
My friend, whatever water you may be getting ready to put your basket into – whether your days as a stay-at-home-mom are ending as your child starts preschool soon or if your baby has grown into a high school graduate and is getting ready to leave your home, or if your children are grown and have babies of their own – remember that you have to put them in the water for God to draw them out and place them into His perfect plan.
Though you might not be physically present with your child as much during the next phase of life, you can always call for the heart of the Father on their behalf. And when you do this, that same Spirit that Jesus left with His disciples – that same Helper – intercedes for you, and in that you can find peace. And it doesn’t stop when they are grown. He will continue to cover them and intercede for them and their children as life goes on.
You are doing great. Find His peace in the fact that He will sustain you and your offspring for always. Your prayers are NEVER wasted!!
Recently, my ladies bible study group has been discussing the many aspects and types of prayer available for us to pray. I really prefer the words, “talking to Jesus”, over prayer. It becomes so much more personal to me when I think of prayers being a continuous conversation with Jesus every day. It enhances my intimacy with Him and my awareness of just how interested He is in every part of my life. And it isn’t just me speaking all the time…..He gets to talk too! And most of the time, I write down what He says, and go back and read His words from time to time as a reminder.
We are never more anxious to receive from God than He is willing to provide. Let’s quit acting like we are bothering God! Beth Moore said, “Prayer is accepting a royal summons to the throne room of the king for breakfast with your dad. He says, Come here child, I’ve got something to give you today. And it’s just what you needed and sought and you are so relieved.”
We don’t know what the direction will be but we know our father will give it.
When you have this kind of prayer intimacy with God, you will learn to recognize when He is wanting your attention and wants to teach you new avenues of prayer, such as warfare against a very real enemy.
So, I am going to tell you of my experience with “Lisa” a number of years back that I find amazing still, even today. I have written of this experience before in my blogging, but I have even more revelation to it now and am still just as amazed.
This is the story:
For weeks every time I grew contemplative or was talking to Jesus, a picture of a hand gun would materialize in my mind. If I was walking by a television and a program was on where a gun was being shot, I would jump as if I was the one being shot at. A picture of a gun on a billboard would seem to be pointed right at me.
The eerie feeling just wouldn’t go away.
At first I thought my imagination was working overtime but somehow I knew this was a puzzle I obviously was missing a piece to. I began to live every day in expectancy of finding out what this gun consciousness was about.
At the time I was leading a weekly women’s bible study and doing some lay Christian counseling as a result of reaching out to the community with my bible study.
His gentle Spirit was teaching me how to totally rely on Him during these times for I felt so insignificant in the enormity of so many problems that women and men face. I never wanted to do anything without His help and in my own reasoning’s as I felt inadequate within myself. I felt it was imperative that I set “me” aside and listen to what the Holy Spirit would say in how to handle each one.
Sometimes, I would be perplexed at what He would have me say to a woman and even more amazed when I would see her set free in areas of her life to move forward.
One particular woman, whom I will call Lisa, was a real challenge. I learned many things as I counseled with Lisa on a weekly basis. This middle-aged-woman had many problems and desired the Lord’s healing and direction for her life. I would just listen to her many issues and offer support and pray for her. Sometimes I would simply counsel her in the many challenges she faced in her sad life.
The counseling went on for many months with Lisa. Then the visions of the gun began. As I prayed and asked God about it I started feeling that the gun issue was somehow connected to Lisa.
I couldn’t help but start to get nervous when she would come to our meetings carrying a backpack, wondering if the gun was in her backpack and she was going to go crazy and shoot me. I listened to her intently in our private meetings to see if there would be a mention of guns but there never was.
I thought about the gun almost continuously for at least 3 months while I spent time with this woman. The feeling really began to shake my faith and I wondered if I was being warned by God to stay away from Lisa. I noticed every gun shop in any place, in any town, and it seemed like they were on every corner, though that wasn’t the case.
I continued to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what this meant.
One night I had a dream that someone was in my front yard with a gun and it was night. Lisa pulled up in a car and got out and this unknown person shot her and she fell dead on the lawn. I was horrified but went to her and began to pray earnestly.
To my amazement she was raised from the dead. Needless to say, I prayed all the more for Lisa after this dream and wondered where all this would lead.
Counseling her became a strain on me and I had to fight fear as this revelation became more pronounced. I has this sense of awareness and just “knew” that Lisa owned a gun and as I saw her growing more despondent I gave way to much prayer on her behalf (and, truth be told, mine too!)
Then one evening the most astounding revelation happened. I was teaching at my bible study and was quite tired as the staff took over with passing an offering basket to pay for overhead costs of the study. I sat on the stairs in front of the group of ladies preparing myself to pray for those who would come after the meeting was dismissed.
As the offering basket was being passed I looked up just as I saw Lisa drop something into the basket that wasn’t money but something else, but I could not tell what it was. After the meeting was all over and most of the other women had left Lisa walked over and sat beside me on the steps.
“Did you see what I dropped into the offering basket?” she asked. I told her I had seen her drop something but didn’t know what it was. She got up and went over to the offering and took the mysterious object out, walked over to me, took my hand in hers, and dropped a bullet into it.
I just sat and stared at it with my mouth hanging open.
“This is your bullet isn’t it?” I whispered.
“Yes, it is for my gun,” she replied.
“God told me you had a gun,” I told her.
“I know” she said with resignation.
Lisa then began to tell me her story. The reason she brought the bullet and gave it as an offering was because of something that had happened the previous Thursday night.
She had felt totally despondent. She had taken her revolver, and the one bullet she kept for it, into the closet with plans of taking her life.
She said as she sat on the floor of the closet she lifted the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.
It would not go off. She tried for half an hour to get the gun to discharge the bullet, but, mysteriously, it would not.
She then broke down and cried and Jesus spoke to her heart, revealing that the ladies of the bible study were praying and the prayers had broken the bonds of death that had a deep grip on her.
She literally could not kill herself because of the power of God and the power of obedient women to pray. God’s overwhelming love then flooded her as she sat in the closet and broke and wept before the Lord for hours.
She declared her life was totally turned around at that moment.
As I thought back to that same Thursday night, I remembered that was the night I had met with our staff to pray for the ladies of the study and I was again overwhelmed with the image of Lisa and a gun. We all then began to pray in earnest for Lisa, especially, and someone even mentioned a spirit of death over her.
I remembered feeling a relief as we prayed that night and believed that whatever it was with the gun and Lisa, it was taken care of in the spirit that very night. The gun awareness seemed to vanish.
I realized when I spoke with Lisa that while we were praying for her, it was the same night and at the same time that she was in the closet trying to pull the trigger.
I have often wondered if we had not prayed what would have happened to Lisa.
I think back to this time often and use it in teaching obedience when we feel the urgings of God to seek His face on another’s behalf.
And how to wait and trust when He is revealing something we need to see as we are praying.
I have been talking to Jesus for 45 years now, and I am still learning so much more about the many facets of communicating and obedience in the spirit realm of communication with God!
Do we ever stop learning? I think not.
As His children He wants to teach us true Kingdom living. He wants us to know how much He wants to use us, move through us, love through us, and reach others through our obedience and transparencies.
In our obedience to live in Him and obey when He impresses us to move on what He shows us, we can witness mighty things happen in the here and now.
“Are not the angels all ministering spirits, servants sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?” *
My husband was so excited to go hunting with his buds to Nevada. He was to ride in a small engine plane that fit 2 to 4 people from the Central Coast to Elko, Nevada, across the great Sierra Mountains. It would be just him and his pilot friend in one plane. They were to meet others there who were also pilots with their own planes.
I felt uneasy about the trip and told him so and he assured me it would be fine and that he was going anyway. I knew I would not be able to stop him from going so I just surrendered the whole trip the Jesus.
He made the trip there okay, with only a few “concerns” he said.
However, upon their return, at 12:05 midnight, I was awakened by the Lord. I knew instantly something was not right with Greg and his pilot friend.
I also knew in my spirit I was to start praying Psalms 91 over them. I didn’t feel fear, but urgency.
When I got to the part in Ps. 91 that says He will give His angels charge over him and “they will lift him up in their hands, so that he would not strike his foot against a stone,” I could see in my spirit the plane in front of a huge mountain, heading right for it!
Then I witnessed, in the spirit, 2 large angels flying up to the plane and taking the wings of the plane and literally lifting it over the mountain until it cleared. I kept praying until I felt a release and fell back to sleep.
Hours later that night I heard Greg come in. The minute he came into the room I sat up in bed and asked what had happened. He looked shocked and asked how did I know anything was wrong.
I told him I was awakened at 12:05 am and told to pray.
I said that I saw angels lifting the plane over a mountain. It was like the breath left him and he sat down to tell the story. The pilot decided to take the less traveled route over the great Sierras instead of the coastal route the other pilots chose.
It was pitch black out and as they approached the mountains Greg looked up and saw they were heading straight into the side of the a sheer cliff. Some kind of down draft had pulled the tiny plane down and the pilot was struggling to steer it upwards. He said they were so close to the wall of the gigantic mountain, heading straight into it, that he put on his sunglasses (at night) so he would not see when they hit and he knew he would die.
Then all of a sudden, at 12:05 p.m., he felt the plane being lifted up by some unseen force and the pilot started circling over and over until it was caught up in some kind of wind and, literally, lifted over the mountain.
This was exactly the same time God woke me to pray and I saw the angels.
Oh yes, I believe in angels.
The bible tells us they are here to minister to us who are heirs of salvation. That is me! I am an heir. Do you know Him? Then you are an heir too!
The bible also says that sometimes we will entertain angels and not even be aware of it. Do you believe it? All things are possible for those who believe.
Do we live expectantly? Are we living in the gospel of the Kingdom? There are angels in this Kingdom just for us! Do you believe? What an exciting way to live. Let’s open our spiritual eyes!
I don’t know about you but I want to use all of the benefits God has provided for us and I know angels come with those benefits. Remember, we have not because we don’t ask for it.
A few years later, after the plane incident, Greg was given a brand new Harley that he had prayed for. (Another miracle) He hadn’t rode in years as he used to be an outlaw rider in his pre-Jesus days and gave up the Harley as it was then his god.
When he gave his life to Jesus, he gave it up and hadn’t ridden in many years. God gave him a brand new Harley to show him He now trusted him to keep the balance, and then he gave him a ministry to Harley riders.
He was leaving one day to go on a 3 day ride hundreds of miles away. As I was praying for him I could hear those blasting pipes warming up for the take off. Again, I was praying Psalms 91. I went to the window as he was leaving the street and, again in the spirit, I saw those same 2 angels, one on either side of that Harley, holding on to each handle bar, and their whole bodies (beings?) were flying out behind the Harley as he flew down the street. It seemed they were hanging on for dear life. I laughed and felt such a peace that he was not alone. I also laughed at those poor angels being assigned to Greg and the work cut out for them.
In the coming weeks, I will share some faith inducing stories of angels at work in my life and in the lives of others; all because I believed God. I welcome your comments.