I have a leather journal, handmade with leather string looping over the raw edges to bind it into book form. A precious friend gave it to me a few years ago as I was walking through healing from chemo. I have designated it for 21 Days of Prayer; keeping my notes, prayer lists and written prayers together.
With the alarm set for 4:00 AM we have yet to hear it go off. Not because we are sound sleepers but we both wake minutes before the hour, reach over turn off the alarm, and begin our day with coffee and out the door by 5:30 to hurry to prayer – as not to miss even one minute.
At straight up 6:00 the band begins a worship song, followed by a devotional lead by one of the associate pastors. I scribble down addresses in the Bible along with three or four takeaways from each particular passage.
My journal affords me to pull it out later and contemplate how these truths apply to this season. What does this say to me?
As I thumb back through my journal, I find lists made two years ago of people’s names I had petitioned God to move on their behalf. I see bulleted phrases; wisdom noted from morning after morning of encouragement; not to give up but continue to press in. I skim prayers that I wrote in intimate communion. I also see side notes scribbled asking, Why? As if to profess that I ‘need to know,’ now recognizing that He had it all worked out even if I didn’t quite understand at the time. I find scripture after scripture penned reminding me of Bible saints who had every reason to give up bu, because of perseverance, they were rewarded in due time.
Some of my penmanship was hurried, as though if I didn’t get it down on paper, the nuggets of gold might slip through. Some writing is very intentional, neat and orderly, as I carefully wrote out my petitions. Yet as I skim the pages with black and blue and even a few pages of pink ink, I can follow my last five seasons of corporate prayer and what God has brought me through. Times of healing, both physical and spiritual. Times of walking out forgiveness, both receiving and extending grace. Times of rejoicing and crying. And always times of renewing.
Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Luke 8:40
One page that stands out from this 21 Days of Prayer mentions the woman with the issue of blood told in all four gospels. The story opens by stating that the crowd came expectant of what Jesus would do. But the woman with the issue of blood pressed through until she touched the hem of his garment. It was at that point she was healed AND Jesus blessed her.
Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48
As evident in the pages of my journal, many times I have shown up on Day One of Prayer expectant of what God was going to do. But the question so etched in my heart this time is: Will I press in enough to touch Him?
Jesus had healing and blessings available for every person in the crowd that day, but this woman was the only one to press in until she got what she came for –her healing.
Like everyone in the crowd that day, we all want all that God has for us
Are we willing to do what it takes to touch Him?
I don’t want this 21 Days to have come and gone and all I did was show up as part of the crowd.
The truth is, 21 Days of Prayer can change our expectation for today. We can show up on day 22 with the same expectations as the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus is the same.
He has healing and blessings for all who press in.
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is ten years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 38 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.