This is why we pray


fun prayer closet

This is why we pray:

It is impossible for nothing to happen when we pray!

Psalm 37:4 ‘Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’

It is the Father’s heart to love. As we pray, He delights in our relationship and takes care to cater for our needs.

Do you know Him? He sent His one, and only Son, Jesus to die for us on the Cross. He died willingly, sacrificially and with great love for us.  Give your heart to Him and He will give what is good and perfect!

 

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Leading in Fear


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“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

A friend served as a Pastor’s Assistant for a number of years, at a local Church in Nairobi.  He spent years running; waking in the dark, rushing early to work, leaving work and off to the Church every week day evening. Andy barely had time to spend time with his wife. Bella spent her evenings with her sister or a friend, staving off the loneliness of a young and busy marriage.  The couple believed that a super-busy marriage would bring them the income and fulfillment they longed for.

The senior Pastor and her husband met Andy and Bella through friends, one fine Sunday, as they visited the fairly small Church in a quiet suburb of the city. They made a choice to continue attending services there, as the Pastor took a keen interest in Andy’s gifts in shepherding, leading and helps.  Shortly after their wedding, Bella noticed that the senior Pastor required more of her husband’s time at the Church, inviting all her staff for training and meetings every Saturday, public holiday and any spare time they had.  Bella thought this odd but decided not to question Andy too much about it. Within a year, Bella began to feel neglected and abandoned.

The senior Pastor on her part noticed this in Bella and the other wives.  She set about busying the Church wives to go shopping and visit one another.  Awkward, lonely and a little frustrated, Bella went along, offering her skills in fashion and shopping, as none of the other wives were medics, as she was.  She smiled at the right moment, invited the other Church staff wives to lunch and tea, at their home.  She tried to make friends but came to realize, she had little or no value to them.

Andy got home later and later each night. Finally, one night, as he walked in, dropped his jacket and brief case, Bella noticed how tired and harassed he looked. She asked how things were, assuming work was the issue. He spoke very little, and then finally, as they got into bed, he spoke.

‘Bella, there is something terribly wrong! Would you believe that all the plans we have worked on, for so long and so hard have been laid to waste!’

‘What has?’ asked Bella, curious to understand what was happening to him.

Andy went on to relate his impression of the lady Pastor, quite contrary to everything they had expected. She had propelled herself to a place of prominence and importance, over God. He sounded so weary, so much that Bella became anxious. She asked if they could pray and they soon settled down, as she comforted him and assured him that all would work out well, now that the Church elders had confronted the Pastor.

As the weeks wore on, they came to understand that the Pastor was struggling with her own loneliness, as her husband was a public figure. Although she wanted to love and serve God, her fears have fed into her insecurities, leading her to spout every negative emotion onto her staff. In abject frustration, her staff began to leave. Families he Church fell away and others moved. The Pastor’s husband was later caught up in an affair, reported across the national dailies. Her heart was broken for all to see, but her core team of good friends had long left her, isolating herself in work and home. Her family life must have suffered. We do not know what happened to her in the end, sadly.  Only when we talked with our friends a good five years later,  did we learn of the anguish they had endured. During that time, their marriage was tested, as they spent more time alone at home as a family, learning to enjoy their young daughter, as Bella enjoyed her second pregnancy.

The healing did come, and the learning turned into a treasure.  God sought them out, healed, delivered and save the whole family.  They can laugh about this experience now and are thankful that they can talk about  spiritual abuse, abuse of authority and how it impacts people.  Jesus Christ gave them an amazing testimony that will serve as a source of learning, comfort and encouragement to so many.

 

A Heart of Gratitude


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‘Joy is a grateful spirit, an optimistic attitude and a heart full of love.’ – author unknown.

It is so refreshing to read other people’s messages of gratitude, as they share them on Facebook.  The first ones I cared to read came as I checked into hospital and steeled myself against television and the perpetual noise some channels invade your life with.  What a relief it was, to have limited internet access and to share precious moments reading personal testimonies and heartfelt gratitude of believers in Christ.  Every chance I get, I scour their stories and learned what wonderful things God began and continued to do in their lives. This was a source of great encouragement, relating and commiserating for their audience.  What a time of great learning too!

I really thank God for expounding my boundaries last weekend and into this week. For sending me on assignment to a group of women with troubled backgrounds, from frustrating ailments and an overwhelming sense of loneliness.

The first neighbour in the ward was an elderly woman, who looked eighty years old but was in fact in her sixties.  She was flown into Nairobi for further treatment from Comoros. She coughed and wheezed behind her curtain walls, surrounded by her two anxious and fidgeting sons, one in their twenties and the other in their thirties. Her daughter sat upright next to her mother’s bed silent and resolute as a bevy of nurses and a flock of doctors attended to her. Her head and clothing covered in a ‘buibui’ in accordance to their faith. Then once the labs tests, scans and regular examinations done for the day, then would pull the curtains around her bed and launch into Muslim prayers in Arabic.

I sat in the next cubicle listening as they whispered prayers in turn, shuffling chairs that poked the curtain into my cubicle. A few hours later, over dinner, their mother unable or unwilling to eat, kept saying, ‘La, la’, (no, no) to everything they offered her. Finally, a nurse came and she ate a little, then promptly went to sleep.

I ate in silence, huddling my hospital gown wrapped tightly around me, as her sons strode in and out of her cubicle. Eventually, I woke up at 1 in the morning to a nurse’s voice, checking on my blood pressure and heart rate. I motioned to him about the commotion in the next cubicle, as her sons argued over some unknown issue, intermittently rousing their mother for comment.  The nurse smiled and mouthed ordered them to leave immediately. I sank back into bed and into a dreamless but fulfilling slumber.

The next day, as the nurses prepped me for a blood transfusion, I heard more doctors and nurses check on my dear neighbour. She wheezed out her responses to them and groaned as they sponge-bathed her and put her into new pyjamas and bedding.  She soon dozed off, snoring in a rather obvious peaceful contentment. Peace for another few hours before her rather noisy and communication-challenged offspring arrived.

I soon found myself with an urge to pray for her. The only problem with that is, she neither spoke English nor Kiswahili. My French is good but she had not spoken a word of it to her children or the doctors. So I prayed and asked God to guide me, which He did.

By lunch time, the old Comoran lady had lost her voice and appetite. Her convulsions worsened.  Her Parkinson’s flared up. By early afternoon, after extra blood tests, the doctors were able to decide that dome medication other than their own issued by her children.  They admitted to it, rather reluctantly and hesitated before handing over the offending medications. It turned out, they presumed the particular drug, prescribed at home to manage her blood pressure.  Sadly, it did nothing of the sort and only led to weakened kidneys and her poorly state. Within minutes they were defending themselves, in frayed tempers, demanding the doctor give them something else to manage her blood pressure. Sadly for them, as they hospital conducts blood pressure, temperature and heart rate tests every 2 hours, on every patient, the evidence worked against their demands. An argument ensued and nurses rushed in to contain a rather pathetic confrontation. I later learned that they had all neglected their mother’s health back in Comoros, abandoning her care to neighbours as they lived their detached city lives. Then their mother’s neighbours would call on various health issues, which they chose to ignore, until finally they called to say the old lady had not left her house for a number of days and did not answer her door.

That afternoon, I prayed a lot more for her, asking for her safety and healing.  By four o’clock that afternoon, she sat up and asked for milk, drank the whole glass and had two more. Then she rolled off to sleep. By morning, as I marched back from my shower, I caught a glimpse of her face, eyes bright, skin fresh and complexion a good healthy colour. She looked sixty that Sunday morning.  The nurses offered her breakfast. She ate heartily and slept once more. By early afternoon, the doctors were ready to discharge her. She spoke in a strong voice, confident a sounding surprisingly clear-headed. A doctor who spoke Comoran attended to her.  She sounded do positive and repeated ly expressed her gratitude.  I realised at that moment, that God came in, healed her and she was ready to leave. At around,  six that evening, she left with her daughter, safely and with a smile on her face. My husband met the merry family at the lift and confirmed their departure.

I thank God for allowing me to witness that healing and the opportunity to pray for her. I pray that she gets to know and put her faith in Jesus. I pray for continued peace in her life and a new beginning for her. One of reconciliation and joy. Lord, thank you for this opportunity!