Category Archives: Prayer

Even if you are the only one <3

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I am a slow processor if you hadn’t noticed. So I hope you will bear with me as I finish out some thoughts and insights and musings from our recent visit to Cuba. 

I may just ramble on with this for the remainder of the week, so hopefully you aren’t getting bored.

One day between our work project and eating lunch, we were invited to sit and listen to the history of the church we partner with. 

We sat on the stone steps and I so hope I understood the interpretation of the story correctly and am sharing accurately.

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My understanding from our lesson is during the era that ushered in the current form of government in this country, many of the churches were closed and pastors were stopped from preaching.

There was some upheaval over ownership of all buildings and properties and to my understanding a time came when a church could maintain the deed of the building site IF they had an active congregation. 

However, circumstances being as they were; it was almost impossible to hold services. 

But one man came faithfully every week and prayed in that building. 

And so…as our endearing pastor expressed with a gesture of a wide open hand and facial expressions that clearly communicated even without the English words being added…there was “church.”

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One man. 

Praying ever week alone on those stone steps. 

For years. 

Three, I believe he said. 

Three years, going and praying faithfully in the face of opposition and persecution…one man. 

I sat there in that sacred place and looked around at the handful of teenagers who made up this youth trip that Russ had felt called to go along on and invited me to accompany him and I wept hot tears. 

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I thought how often I have prayed for Russ to want to do an international trip and God answered my prayer with more than I could have asked or imagined. 

Because many years ago, when our own three Reimers were teens in this same youth group, God laid on my heart to start a prayer ministry for the teens.

The basic group who prays with me once a month has, like me, moved on with our families and gotten busy. 

We have lost touch with who the youth even are, but we have never felt released to stop praying. 

Sometimes just one of us can be there and sometimes none of us can make it. 

For years we prayed daily over lists of names for which we had no faces.

And I had been asking God if it was time to stop this. 

Maybe the season was over and we should just pack it up and call it a good run. 

But God had a word for me as I sat there. 

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Who would benefit most if we stopped praying for the nameless faces of the young people who are being trained up in our church? 

I will not pretend to understand why God, who can do all things, invites us to participate in His marvelous work through interceding for others. 

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I will only tell you that He is most gracious and kind to allow us to partner with Him through our prayers. 

I will tell you that He so generously shares the joy of answered prayer when we are obedient to continue to press on even when we see no answers.

Are you praying for someone or something all alone?

For years and years on the hard stone steps of what appears to be a situation that has not hope of ever being changed?

Don’t.

Stop. 

Ever.

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With your last breath, cry out to God to come and to invade every corner of the place, person, situation you have been called to lift in prayer. 

For  your family.

For this country.

For a cause.

For the Church.

He worketh!!!!

Oh yes, He worketh…

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all things for our good and for His glory!

Ok…super quick one <3

So our dining room table has been turned into Mission Trip 2018 headquarters.

There are stacks of clothing and supplies for things we were asked to take for the mission activities….and assorted toiletries and meds and, don’t ask me why, numerous empty plastic bags from stores because … who knows…we might need plastic bags, right?

Russ and I are signed up to go with the youth missions team to Cuba.

And true to Reimer form, we will literally leave from work to join the team. Maybe.

We may actually be about 20 minutes behind them.

Which is more my style than Russ’s.

But that’s ok.

So I am a little stressed.

And this morning I poured my heart into my journal and wrote how I have never felt so unprepared physically, emotionally or spiritually for any trip; let alone a mission trip.

After the pouring out, I texted a young friend because she is on my list of people to contact and explain why I fell off the radar this week and how we will make plans to meet when we return … and by the way, would she please pray for me.

Because today is my full day with the yahoos…and…

they do keep a girl busy…

She replied she would be praying.

And then I sat down and opened my devotions and the one for today was about…

a woman who went on a mission trip and felt unprepared.

How she was concerned if God would use her and about the details.

About how God showed up … all along the way…all the places she saw His hand.

And I marveled again for the ten zillionth time how personal God is and how much He loves us.

Because this trip was originally scheduled a month from now.

But this particular devotion was written by someone, and randomly placed in a devotional book that a dear sister/friend purchased for me for Christmas.

And so this morning, it was as if God heard my prayer…and had the response ready.

It gets better.

I texted a picture right away to that young mom, who excitedly shared that she couldn’t wait for her brood to wake up so she could share a wonderful story with them of what God had done in my life.

Do you see the thread of faith?

Woven when we honestly tell God our needs and then wait in expectation.

The tapestry of faith…across miles and generations.

What is your need today?

Tell Him.

He cares.

He loves.

He will meet you.

Wait and hope in the LORD <3

Day 3 …. Brave Moms, brave kids…reflections and give away!

Here we are on Day 3 of what has turned into quite a week here at the Journey…not only am I attempting to steer all of you into the possibility of winning the drawing for a copy of this book Brave Moms, brave kids to give or keep…

God answered prayers for someone to help me with the tech side of it all and my new friend Robin has been busy, busy…fixing up the back end of this little slice of the internet.

There are all kinds of changes and if you subscribe by email...spoiler alert…we changed systems yesterday, so you may get TWO for a couple of days…but that will end.

If you haven’t subscribed…easy peasy…just enter your name and email in the sidebar <3

And now on to the message for today….

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Another chapter in my copy of Brave Moms, brave kids by Lee Nienhuis that is completely marked up with arrows and circles and underlings would be Chapter 9….Vigilant Prayer

She uses one of my go to passages from the years I prayed early in the morning while three little and then teen Reimer kiddos slept in the rooms upstairs.

Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger a the head of every street.    Lamentations 2:19

Back in those days, with their activities sometimes overwhelming our calendar…

and the influences of others outside the walls of our home becoming increasingly more powerful…

with personalities developing and independence from us being guided in the right direction…

during crucial relationship development with friends and mentors we did not know well…

prayer was just that.

My crying out did go through the watches of the night and the lifting of my hands was done in the wee hours of the morning over coffee and a dogeared Bible and spiral notebook …. both getting generously marked up with my pen, my tears and a few drops of coffee for good measure.

I could see clearly in those days that we would never be able to navigate their journey from tots to adults if God did not step in mightily.

Their mom was too emotional…too hypersensitive…too prone to bury her head in the sand…too reactionary…too frail herself to be the guide….too afraid of conflict…too selfish…too addicted to comfort.

And so pain and lack drove me to cry out for the help we all needed to bring them up in the fear and training of the Lord.

Seasons when things are going well…those didn’t usually drive me to my knees. And when you have three children spanning six years of development…there will be a measure of discomfort mixed in with all the fun.

And so, as Lee points out, we can look at the increasing opposition of the enemy at work through deceptions and shiftings in every area of life these days…home, community, schools, government, world…and yes..the church…and see that God is calling us to a new level of vigilance in prayer.

“With the increasing ferocity of the Enemy in our generation, and with his nasty strategy of picking on our children, attacking our marriages, and deceiving the people we love, we cannot afford to be wimpy prayer warriors. We must become vigilant in every way, recognizing that the way through is to stand firmly in the power of Christ and pray, pray, pray.”  Lee Nienhuis Brave Moms, brave kids  page 119

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Lee has a Facebook page for Brave Moms and recently I watched a live video she did showing how she prays the Scriptures.

After writing the passage at the top of her notebook, she began to meditate on what it said about God…what it shows of His heart and His desires for us.

Then she marked off sections for each of her family and she prayed and mediated on the Word as she applied it to each individual.

You could tell it was early morning and at first she said she wasn’t going to show her own early morning face to us…yet eventually…one by one….little ones of her flock began waking up and joining her on the couch.

As she shifted her recording device, you could see them snuggling in with blankets and bedhead and such as she continued to show us her notes.

She allowed us to see the real her…praying real prayers over real kids…warrior prayer.

Vigilant prayer.

Honest prayer from a mom who loves the children the Lord has blessed her with.

This is the most powerful force known to man.

Prayer from a humbled, genuine, Jesus-loving, Christ-Following, obedient heart will change the tide of a culture that will lie to our children and tell them they don’t need God and then leave them abandoned to die.

But God.

He will not leave us or forsake us.

Now more than ever…we must ask Him to stir us up to vigilant, watchful, joy-filled, confident prayer for this generation …. for the babies and for the great grandparents…for all to know Him and to know His power available to those who belong to Him through the blood of His Child…His Son…Jesus Christ <3

Be blessed today and remember … if you want to enter your name in the drawing to get a copy of Brave Moms, brave kids:

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Because this is what is on my heart and mind this morning <3

You all know I love pictures that tell a story. Like this one says that at the time I took it, a bunch of people I love so much were walking in their sock feet all over our house.

Eating and playing and laughing and loving.

But today I saw a picture of empty shoes that will haunt me throughout the hours and I will lift prayers for some feet I do not know.

Young girls…over a hundred of them…left worn and dusty sandals scattered across yet another school yard in Nigeria.

Another abduction leaving parents wailing and asking the government to act.

It is beyond comprehension that this continues and yet is buried on the back page of the local paper in a tiny paragraph.

I had to google BBC to get more of the story.

So today, don’t forget to pray for them.

Pray for the over a hundred of the 276 girls taken in 2014 who never returned home.

Cry out to God on behalf of those who have no advocate around the world except for Him.

Blessings dear ones.

Your prayers avail much.

Do not cease to cry out for those who have no voice in this world  <3

Hello to you on a soggy Wednesday <3

Nineteen seconds.

That’s how often our sump pump has been running since yesterday.

Every. Nineteen. Seconds.

And yes, I am counting.

Because there is an OCD bent to my brain anyway and when something is happening that rhythmically, besides my breathing and heart beat…I start counting.

I may need therapy soon.

So as I tap out letters into words and try not to count…three, four..ok…sorry…I’m back…I am sharing a quick thought and then I am going to get dressed as fast as I can and go find a dry and quieter place to ride out the next few hours.

On one of our not-raining days over the weekend, Russ went out in the morning for a run and came right back in the house.

Apparently one of us named me had left the garage door open all night.

At our old house, we had a mutual agreement with the family across the street that involved a text around bedtime if either of us had forgotten this little task sometime during the day.

We have not set up said arrangement here and thus…it went unnoticed throughout our sleeping hours.

I felt strangely vulnerable and exposed since nocturnal animals seem drawn to us like a moth to a flame and I cringed thinking of what critter may have visited whilst we had snoozed.

I also felt bad that I had been the last one in and failed to press the button, leaving our house open throughout the night.

I acknowledged the neglect and carelessness on my part and prayed to do a better job  to keep things secure around our home.

There has been a recent flap in the media calling into question if Jesus can speak to people and I tell you, I think He does because I often feel an impression of a voice in my spirit and I would say this is how He talks to me.

As I was chiding myself for my mistake, I recognized that the Lord might be taking this opportunity to remind me how even more important it is to be mindful of “spiritually securing” the perimeters each day.

My prayers for Russ and for me, for our marriage and for our children, for our grandchildren….for the places we work and the areas we serve in ministry…for the spheres of influence God has designated to us…these avail much in securing what God has entrusted to my care.

Sometimes I get busy just going from day to day and while I do think of my family and friends, I can find myself in a rut of vain repetitions that do not qualify as prayer.

You see, counting is not my only problem. I also default to worry and fear when I feel threatened or I perceive danger for someone I love.

And this is not a biblical nor spiritually mature response.

Securing the borders around my inheritance and yet leaving room for God to move and work in ways outside of and inside of the circumstances of our lives requires diligence and vigilance in praying His protection even in the midst of His permissive will.

It means having open communication about my thoughts while seeking His thoughts regarding the days of our lives.

Prayer helps me set up appropriate boundaries while keeping doors open when needed.

Prayer invites God to do what only He can do and seeks Him to instruct me/equip me/guide me/correct me as to what my part involves.

So I am developing a new habit before I go to bed.

As I check the three doors that would allow intruders access to our home, I pray over the homes of those I love so dearly that the Lord would be a hedge around them as they sleep.

I pray for wisdom for each of us to know how to set appropriate boundaries while also being willing to  swing wide the doors of hearts to share the love of Christ with others.

It is a balance I can only achieve with the help of Jesus.

I am so thankful He speaks to us if we will have ears to listen <3