Boy has it been a long time!!
Thats what happens when you start a blog for the sake of an assignment and forget to carry it on once the assignment is done.
So currently Ive no idea what to base this blog on except to sift through my own rambling thoughts on things I wish I could talk about more if it werent for the fact Id know peoples eyes (and heads) would roll.
I'll start with what Im reading.
With my fiance Im currently reading a book called Becoming a Prayer Warrior by Elizabeth Alves.
The thing is, my church here in Christchurch (Grace Vineyard) became geographically misplaced after the major earthquake that hit us last February and among many buildings that were severely and irrevocably damaged, so was our church building on Ferry Road. I suspect, the leaders and those who grew up in the building and had ties there feel the pain more than I do (as I only permanently joined the congregation in January). Anyway, Spreydon Baptist Church has graciously allowed us to use their church building til our leaders figure out our situation. So the big question is should we stay or should we leave Ferry Rd. They feel the prophetic need to teach us out of Nehemiah since the parallels are so uncanny as the theme of that book is physical, emotional, social and spiritual rebuilding. And one of the things theyve implemented is a time called Hope Rising, where the combined churches of Spreydon and Grace have been called to pray and fast for 3 weeks. The leaders feel that doing so is biblical and in my opinion smart after such an upheaval that an earthquake brings.
So the point is, that everyone is encouraged to give up something (typically a meal or multiple meals) and in that time pray for 3 weeks. The first week for ourselves and families, the second week for our church and the third week for the city and its leadership.
well the week before it started I prayed about it because I don't like going hungry and Id rather give up something else, but I felt God say to fast on Monday. Start my week focusing on God I suppose.
So last week I did just that and went hungry on Monday and spent the majority of the day either praying or reading my bible. It was incredibly uncomfortable (as I said I like the feel of having food in my stomach) and in all honesty I was wondering what sort of impact this was going to have on me as I wasnt really inviting the idea of doing this EVERY Monday. So anyway, I base my weeks praying on my needs and the needs of my fiance. And hardly surprising was our need for money. We had our WOF and Rego needing to be paid, while looking for a flat to rent once we're married, I had become officially unemployed and we still have wedding and honeymoon things to be paid for. So money is an issue right now. We're not painfully flat broke but we are at the level where we are praying over any and everything to do with money.
But wonderful things started happening. Our WOF check failed (as expected) but our bill wasnt as high as we thought it would be. We discovered money in our bank account that we did not budget for, so we were able to put a deposit on our honeymoon and we found a flat to rent within 3 days of looking AND Steven's boss asked me for my resume so he could see if he could find a position for me or at the least hand it on to others he know could help me.
So after the first week, was praying while hungry worth it? Heck yes.
So back to the book.
In the second week of praying (completed my 2nd fast yesterday a lot more cheerfully lol) and I thought to myself, what gives me the impression that my prayer life is great? Or even adequate? Admittedly these days I havent prayed with as much fervour as when I was a teenager when I prayed constantly and passionately. I realised, Ive actually have been very slack in this area of my walk and maybe its time for a bit of spiritual pruning, so I got a book from the church library to read and get some more ideas.
Onto the second chapter at the moment, and its a very good read and Steven and I had a fantastic discussion about it last night.
Before I go I'll share an interesting thing that happened this morning.
Two nights ago while I was reading my prayer book I was reading a bit on the difference between normal prayer and intercessory prayer. I dont think Ive fully figured it out but by my thinking intercessory prayer is when the Holy Spirit deliberately puts someone in your mind for you to pray for immediately. Theres been tons of freaky stories where people have interceded for someone at a weird time of the day/night to later find out that the person they were praying for was in a potentially or very harming situation, then to be saved by something or someone at that exact time. Other times it can be spiritual warfare intercessory prayer for someone. Sometimes God tells you whats happening to that person, other times he doesnt.
So anyway, I thought to myself, wouldnt that be an interesting experience.
To cut it short, I woke up this morning with the sensation of someone abruptly waking me up. I thought it was Mum cos she does it all the time but she wasnt there and the minute my mind focused on the fact that it was morning, into my head popped the face of a person I havent talked to since highschool. I wasnt even friends with this person we were just classmates who uttered a hello to each other a few times a year. It was totally weird, and I felt a huge sense of urgency to pray for them (though I had no idea what to pray). And I said out loud "God can't I just snuggle in my warm bed and casually hope the best for that person wherever they are?" The response I got - "No!"
So I literally stumbled out and onto my knees next to my bed to pray for this person and words started comming out that I didnt know I had. WEIRD. I hope it helped though.