Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Peace, Prayer, and Power (a Recent Experience)

A little over a week ago I had some very exciting news happen, out of the blue. At the time I thought it was one of my biggest dreams coming true and a long-time prayer being answered. I was so excited that I beamed the entire day and nothing could have stopped me from being so happy that day....well, or so I thought.

Later that evening, as I investigated the good news I received, I saw that it wasn't at all what I had thought it to be. As I looked over the company's website again and again just to make sure that there wasn't a small ounce of hope I could hang on to, or something I had misunderstood, I quickly realized this was not an answer to my prayer. It was not at all what I had envisioned earlier that day.

Right away I felt a punch to the gut as reality sank in. All of that adrenaline and those endorphins, gone. What I thought was an opportunity that was going to take my dreams to the next level was nothing of the sort at all. Reminding myself that I need to always practice what I preach, I began to praise and thank the Lord for this experience. I praised Him for what I was to learn from it. I let Him know that I still had hope, but that I was also running low on motivation.

Over the next five days I felt zapped of positive energy. As I let each of my family members know (who had been there when I received the exciting surprise phone call) that I had turned down the "opportunity" as it was not what I thought it was, it felt as though someone was standing over me with a giant hammer and pounding my dreams and hopes to pieces. No matter what I did, this heaviness and devastation followed me around. I couldn't seem to shake it.

I thought about in that moment of excitement and shock, how I had put down the phone and prayed to my Heavenly Father and thanked Him for blessing me with this dream come true. Then I proceeded to tell my parents and siblings, and their families how you should never give up on your dreams and how Heavenly Father always has something amazing planned for us if we have hope, faith, and we ask. It was as though I gave the speech before accepting the Grammy - and the Grammy went to someone else. My family (who many had abandoned their dreams), must have been thinking, when is she going to finally stop dreaming?

One day, while praying and contemplating all of this, I told the Lord that I just wanted to get lost in service. In that moment, I felt that service was the only way out of this lingering disappointment. Just then I noticed an opportunity on a radio station website, to pray for people. It was a list of random people throughout the country who added themselves to a prayer list and specified what they were in need of. Some needed to feel love, others desired healing, and some just peace of mind or comfort. So, I clicked on the list.

 As random names and requests popped up, I began to pray for each person and their circumstance. As I said each name out loud, I could feel an overwhelming sense of love that our Father in Heaven has for each child. It was as though He was allowing me to feel that love, and as I pleaded on their behalf, I could feel a connection to each of these people and they were no longer just names on a computer screen.

I have always kept a prayer list in a binder for when I say my personal prayers. I add names to it often as I come across friends, neighbors and strangers that are in need - this way I don't forget anyone. There have even been times when people have called me and asked me to pray for them because they call me a "prayer warrior" - and I have added their names to my list. I have to say however, that praying for complete strangers, without understanding their full circumstances was a completely different experience. There was something very healing about it.

After an afternoon of praying, I felt an enormous sense of peace come over me, like I have never felt before. I can't explain it but I know it came from God. That heaviness and disappointment was gone! In fact, what's so strange about it is, I noticed that little things that used to bother me no longer bothered me at all. Past memories that were not so pleasant in my life suddenly had no unpleasant feelings attached to them. It was as though I had been cut free of all doubts, worries, fears, anxieties etc. I didn't have very many to begin with, but I had enough to realize there was such a big difference in my life now.

This amazing and incredible peace has stayed with me for over a week now. It's an enormous feeling of "all is well and all will stay well". Later that day, after praying for others, I received an email from a company in California letting me know they are interested in possibly extending the opportunity to me that I had been praying for. This time instead of great excitement or even doubts from the previous experience, I felt an amazing sense of peace with this email. I responded by thanking them and then putting it into the Lord's hands. I believe this was the motivation I had asked for. Later that evening, random readers, strangers and friends, connected with me through social media and each thanked me for something I had inspired them with. Again, the Lord was sending me motivation to keep on doing what I'm doing, and to keep on dreaming.

I know that as we forget about disappointments and worries in our own lives, and we hand everything over to the Lord while losing ourselves in service, He will bless us with His peace.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Here is a link to the prayer list - if you'd like to join!

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