Holy Land Revelations Part 1: Great Wall of Prayer

Hi, Friend!

Please forgive me for not telling you about my Holy Land Experience with Lysa TerKeurst and Proverbs 31 Ministries this month. Surprise!

It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life! For the next few weeks, I’ll show you a few Holy Land candid photos I shot and some of the many, meaningful biblical lessons that soaked deep in my soul.

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It strikes me as I approach the Western Wall–the Wailing Wall–in Jerusalem. There is a hush over this place, except for the sound of some women softly sobbing. Two things connect us all here, no matter our background, our faith, our socioeconomic level, our native language…

Prayer and tears.

I wait my turn to find a narrow place to pray directly at the Wall. One lady covers her face with a veil and backs away from the Wall. I take her place and fall to my knees.

This limestone Wall has become smooth over 2000+ years from the countless hands and foreheads pressing against it, fervently crying out to God.

Many of us from our trip had written prayers on little pieces of paper to leave there. I couldn’t believe it. All the rolled-up and folded papers, all the prayers, stuffed in every crevice of the Wall and on the ground below. .

I whisper my deepest praises, prayers and dreams, as I weep beside a lady wearing a hijab. Our whispered prayers create a soul symphony.

After several minutes of prayer, I prepare to leave. The time is too short but my spot is needed by the next vulnerable soul behind me.

We had been told not to turn our backs to the wall as we left. Several of us slowly back away in silence, savoring this moment of unity and peace.

Our guide told us that each day those prayers on paper are collected and buried on the Mount of Olives. If that is so, how beautiful, how powerful, how perfect that is. The same place where Jesus will return one day (Zechariah 14:4) is the same place all those written prayers are buried.

Friend, whether at this Western Wall, in the car, outside, or in your home, every prayer you cry out to God is heard. God hears you. God sees you. God answers you in His time, in His way.

Reflect:

When is the last time you cried out to God?

Renew:

“As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.” –1 Samuel 1:12.

“Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.” –Psalm 130:1-2.

“And…the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” –Revelation 5:8.

#P31HolyLandTour

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No More Puny Prayers

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I am guilty of praying puny prayers. Sure I pray for my family, friends, coworkers, loved ones with health issues, and those I know who haven’t yet accepted Jesus as their Savior.  These, I believe, are precious prayers to God.

A life-changing question was posed to a group of us recently. If God said He would answer every prayer you prayed in the last week, just as you had asked Him, would your prayers have been too small?

God is so much bigger than my little brain can even comprehend. Why don’t I pray bigger? He can handle it.

I read a Bible passage that confirmed the question asked of us. Maybe you have heard of King Ahaz of Judah. I had not.

Isaiah was a prophet.  In Isaiah 6, Isaiah had actually seen the Lord seated on a throne the year Ahaz’ s grandfather King Uzziah died. Fast forwarding a few years into Isaiah 7, Uzziah’s grandson Ahaz was now King of Judah. He was afraid to march with the King of Israel and the King of Aram to fight against Jerusalem.

The Lord told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz to stay calm, not to be afraid and not to lose heart.  It seemed like Ahaz may not have believed Isaiah. So the Lord then said to Ahaz:

“’If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’  Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, ‘Ask the Lord Your God for a sign. Whether in the deepest depths or the highest heights.’ Isaiah 7:9b-11

Guess how King Ahaz responded?

“But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.’ “ Isaiah 7:12

Ouch.  I am so guilty of not asking because I am afraid to bother God or put Him “to the test.”

“Then Isaiah said, ‘Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of MY God also? Therefore the Lord himself  will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.’” Isaiah 7:13-14.

The Lord and the prophet Isaiah were trying desperately to tell this stubborn King Ahaz that the Savior of the whole world Jesus was going to be born from his tribe of Judah, from David’s lineage!

The Lord wanted Ahaz to pray for anything, from the lowest  of prayers to the highest, the biggest prayers.

Jesus’ birth would be the answer to all his problems! Jesus is the answer to all of our problems.

God doesn’t promise that our problems go away. He does promise that He is with us, just like He was with King Ahaz. After all, Immanuel means “God with us.”

God wants a relationship with us.  He desires for us to talk with Him about everything on our heart.  That’s what He wants—our heart.

So let’s pour our hearts out to God in prayer. Tell Him anything. Ask for anything.

He will answer all of our prayers, big or small, in one of three ways: 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Not now.

Our life is altered when we go to the altar.

Pray Big. Put God to the test.  He is ready.  Expect miracles.

Reflect:

When is the last time you prayed big?  Please comment.

How will your prayers change now?  Please comment.

Renew:

–“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. “ –Romans 8:26 NIV

–“Pray continually.” –1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV

–“…The four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” –Revelation 5:8b NIV

Recharge:

–Plan each day to set aside intentional prayer time with the Lord. Then pray throughout the day.

–Set aside a “War Room” or prayer space (closet, a “Prayer Chair,” the bathroom, etc) where you can be more focused and less distracted.

–Remember, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

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When My Prayers Are Puny

Pray Big

So often when I pray, I feel like such a slackard. Like God has too much to do and too many people to look after than to worry about my dorky issues.

My perspective changed when a life-changing question was posed to a group of us last week.

If God said He would answer every prayer you prayed in the last week, just as you had asked Him,  would your prayers have been too small?

God is so much bigger than my little brain can even comprehend. Why don’t I pray bigger? He can handle it.

I read a Bible passage recently that confirmed the question asked of us last week.

Maybe you have heard of King Ahaz of Judah. I had not.

Isaiah was a prophet.  In Isaiah 6, Isaiah had actually seen the Lord seated on a throne the year Ahaz’ s grandfather King Uzziah died. Fast forwarding a few years into Isaiah 7, Uzziah’s grandson Ahaz was now King of Judah. He was afraid to march with the King of Israel and the King of Aram to fight against Jerusalem.

The Lord told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz to stay calm, not to be afraid and not to lose heart.  It seemed like Ahaz may not have believed Isaiah. So the Lord then said to Ahaz:

“’If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’  Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, ‘Ask the Lord Your God for a sign. Whether in the deepest depths or the highest heights.’ Isaiah 7:9b-11

Guess how King Ahaz responded?

“But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.’ “ Isaiah 7:12

Can you believe how Ahaz responded? But haven’t we all not asked because we were afraid to put God to the test?

“Then Isaiah said, ‘Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of MY God also? Therefore the Lord himself  will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.’” Isaiah 7:13-14.

The Lord and the prophet Isaiah were trying desperately to tell this stubborn King Ahaz that the Savior of the whole world Jesus was going to be born from his tribe of Judah, from David’s lineage!

The Lord wanted Ahaz to pray for anything, from the lowest  of prayers to the highest, the biggest prayers.

Jesus’ birth would be the answer to all his problems! Just like He’s the answer to all of our problems.

God doesn’t promise that our problems go away. He does promise that He is with us, just like He was with King Ahaz. After all, Immanuel means “God with us.”

God wants a relationship with us.  He desires for us to talk with Him about everything on our heart.  That’s what He wants—our heart.

So let’s pour our hearts out to God in prayer. Tell Him anything. Ask for anything.

He will answer all of our prayers, big or small, in one of three ways: 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Not now.

Life alters when we go to the altar.

Pray Big. Put God to the test.  He is ready.  Expect miracles.

Reflect:

When is the last time you prayed big?  Please comment.

How will your prayers change now?  Please comment.

Renew:

–“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. “ –Romans 8:26 NIV

–“Pray continually.” –1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV

–“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” –Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV

Recharge:

–Plan each day to set aside intentional prayer time with the Lord. Then pray throughout the day.

–Set aside a  quiet “prayer space” (closet, a “Prayer Chair,” the bathroom, etc) where you can be more focused and less distracted.

–Remember, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

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