Monthly Archives: January 2010

How To Pray. And Two Bonus Stories.

There are more places in Scripture than I realized that tell us how to pray to God.

Where to pray:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6.

How not to pray:

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5.

What to say when you pray:

And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

(Luke 11: 2-4).

How and why to keep on praying:

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1.

What to ask God for:

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Luke 10: 2.

Story 1:

Here’s the sweet story from yesterday at TechMission.  Bear with me, cause I think I’m coming down with strep throat or something today (bleck).

The situation: We’re worshipping God in the conference room for 30 minutes to get the day started (Wednesdays and Fridays.  Don’t be jealous).  We’re hollerin out the words to Days of Elijah at the top of our lungs and praising his name.

Me: Guys, this verse says “These are the days of the harvest: The fields are as white in your world.  God has no problem preparing the harvest, but what he needs are harvesters.  He doesnt tell us THAT many times in the Bible to ask for certain things, but he asks us to pray to God that he’ll send workers into the fields.  Then it says “we are the laborers in your vineyard.” I feel like we are laboring in this house here, to ask God to send workers out.  We run ChristianVolunteering.org!  We should be asking that GOD makes the people connect, and not just with a click here or an email there, but sending actual workers into the harvest!”.

All of us realize that ChristianVolunteering.org is a site that sends workers into the harvest and we need to ask God to use it or do his own thing, whatever it takes, to send those workers cause Jesus said to ask it.

Meeting ends.

I get an email a few minutes later from Ces, my coworker. He has been sending me all of the emails from organizations that received a request from volunteers to receive an application, but then never heard another word…or from volunteers that wanted to volunteer for an organization but never heard a thing.  This particular email is a positive one (they did connect!) and closed with the following:

“Again, thank you so much for your endeavors and noble mission to

connect the workers for the great harvest that is ripe and ready.”

Weird timing, right? :).

Story 2:

I spent all last Saturday at a conference.  We learned about prayer, God’s mission, and evangelism.  But we did not learn how to persuade our friends or street passerby-ers.  We learned how to do evangelism and discipleship as God Himself planned it out before time began–much more effective.

We learned that in Acts 8, 9 and 10, each of these stories begins with God telling a specific person to go someplace or say something, that it happened while they were praying, and that simultaneously, he was working in the hearts of the people who would be hearers.  Peter went to Cornelius (both had received visions), Philip went to the Ethiopian (direct instructions and already in the Scriptures), and Ananias went to Saul (both had visions). Telling people about Christ would be much easier if you’re praying and God says, “Go buy bananas at the corner right now” and you go, then God says, “Say these words” and you say them, (and all the while God worked and already told the store owner to listen to everything you say)…that’s literally what was happening in Acts 8-10.  This all blew my mind and taught me to pray differently, take obedience more seriously and listen closely.  I need to listen harder and more often, truly.

So what did we do?  We decide that instead of grabbing dinner, we’re going to the mall to walk around and pray and listen.  If God says “Speak to that person”, do it.  If He does not say anything to do, keep praying.

On the way to the mall, i felt something in my spirit say, “If anyone is sitting alone, speak to them about me.”  I was like: HAHA RIGHT.  IMAGINATION.  WHATEVERR.  Then we went to the food court to pray and watch for people sitting alone.  There was one guy, and he left right away–but after a couple minutes, ONE girl comes and sits RIGHT next to us at a table.  alone.  just her.  for a while.

Betsy Hill comes by and says, “Becca. On the way here God said, ‘Tell Becca Nelson that if she hears something from me, don’t doubt it”.  So I hop over to the other table and ask to sit.  I ask to pray for Sherry (not her real name, but eh) and she says she needs an apartment.  So we pray for it.  Then I explain that on a Saturday night, God spoke to two people to transmit to her that He is seeking her out.  He loves her—and there’s more than working in the mall and wondering about things.  She told me she doesn’t really know the whole story yet, is interested in coming to church with me, and heard from God this week through a “Message from God” facebook application.  “It says not to worry but i often worry about the end of the world coming.”  We swapped emails and became friends on facebook. She’s awesome, and i hope we spend more time together.  It was totally crazy though.  Clearly (just as we heard during the day), God worked in me, in Betsy and IN Sherry before I walked over.  It was a sweet spot for me to be in cause i got to see and be a part of God’s mission, but I did NOTHING except what he had planned…

So pray. Listen. Ask God to send workers.  Ask God to send you! Obey what he tells you to do.  Enjoy His awesomeness.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Weird habits #1 and #2

Am i alone in this one, all?

Things i say and things i do that do NOT match at all:

Me: “God, would you give me direction for the future and show me where to work and how to serve you?”

<one week later>

Me: “God, i still need direction.”

<watch 3 episodes of the office on hulu.  go to work. go to game nights. go to work. go to sleep. not stop for 2 months.>

Me: “God!  I’ve been waiting on you!  It’s been two months!”.

I pray twice about something. People say, “Well did you pray about it?” and i say, “Yes.  I’m waiting on God.”

OR

Me: “God, what’s wrong with me–I keep doing things I don’t want to do…why did you make me so prone to these things i do..i do’t know how to fix it but i’m asking you..”

<get on facebook and check out albums.>

Me: (in church) “I’m desperate for you, i’m lost without you, i’m desperate for you, i’m lost without you ,this is the air i breathe..”

<5 minutes later: PANNNNNNERA!!! GET IN THE CAR! GO!”   ::spends day hanging out and night eating dinner with people and work the next day til 5 and then the gym::::>

Me: “God, why am I still this way?  I prayed about it!” (has prayed twice and on most sundays).

If Christ is my first love, my priority, my desire, my shield, my fortress, my Father, then why do i want to talk to my friends, computer, family and own thoughts before Him?  it MAKES NO SENSE.  i’m not doing it anymore.  Sorry if anyone’s feeling neglected. I still think you’re awesome.  i’m just takin a break. :D.  The more I pray, the more i regret creating these habits and the more God is breaking them all (hopefully).

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

the car

tonight i said goodbye to my car:

and began to miss it immediately.

on a brighter note–i rarely drive it, my roommates could use extra cash when i use their cars instead, i wont be paying insurance, i wont have to move it to the correct side of the street in spring, it had no mirrors or working front tires.  the hatchback wouldnt open, the interior light didnt work and the engine light was on.  it also leaked in water.  i told all of this to the nice guy that bought it.  he understood.

He also said he will likely come to alpha with me–i told him i was afraid to invite him to church cause if anything worse happens with the car, he might think all Christians are jerks—and we all had a good laugh.  He said to make sure i invite him, because he’s not at all Christian but studies religion.  :).

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

im freakin out

too much to say and no desire to spend time online now.

1.) pray for my street.  cops just walk up and down it now (tonight) cause some stuff has been going down (beatings/fights).  we’re nervous but more than anything, sad for the kids involved right outside our walls (like 2 feet away is where it’s all going on).  I’m glad the cops are involved but it’s scary and difficult.

2.) Tonight i attended a prayer meeting for http://www.fenwaychurch.org.  it was off the chizzain.  honestly, i am not sure ive ever experienced anything like it in my christian life, which is 22 years old already.

I asked God to speak something to me through my pastor that i KNEW was from him.  My pastor prayed for those who are hungry and for freedom and it crossed my mind that it related to me, but was generic enough for everybody.  Then Jenna came up to me at the closing worship song.

note: remember january 6th post entitled “powerwashing”: (My heart still has nasty stuff stuck to all the walls–things like pride and selfish ambition, vain conceit, cynicism, skepticism and covetousness..)

“Are you Rebecca?”

“yep.”

“Im new here.  God told me something for a girl named Rebecca and he gave me a picture for you.”

“what…”

“There’s a house and inside it all the rooms are filled with like, old stuff and cobwebs and it’s gross and  there’s stuff on the walls.  Then God said he will clean it all out for you and fill it with his light”.

:::crickets and long stare at jenna::::

“JENNA DO YOU READ MY BLOG”

“no..”

let’s just say it was nice to know im on the right track. im in the right church(es) and God is moving — after so long and so much waiting it’s finally time to start hearing from him!  maybe some of you hear clearly from God often, but i dont, and when i do, i often tell myself it’s just my imagination.  i’m so encouraged.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

portland

in a few minutes i leave to visit my dear friend and spiritual pal in portland.  stoked.

i think i sold my car tonight.  official monday.

i need to spend more time in silence (see below)–this weekend perhaps. and go to Keziah’s blog and pray a few minutes for haiti.

From pierreduplessis.org:

“Kierkegaard, probably the greatest Protestant Christian mind of all time, said …

“If I could prescribe only one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. Because even if the word of God is proclaimed in all it’s fullness it would not be heard -there is too much noise.”

“What you need is stillness and silence so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear.”

—Ruth Haley Barton,


I am being intentional in removing noise. My soul is hungry for the whispers of heaven.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Not my fault. I was born this way!

Today in Park Street Church, Mr. (Rev.) Franklin Graham spoke about sin and the need for a Savior.  Then Fenway Church–David W. Hill spoke about salvation.  He said God created us for relationship with him, but sin broke it, and now the only way we can become clean enough to know God is go through Christ.

God took my own prayer time after church to break my heart a bit and discipline me for my (often) wrong motives in worship, prayer, fasting, ministering, helping the poor, serving, etc.  Dealt with sin.

In tonight’s service we learned about the sin of not choosing to follow Jesus.  Finally, during a John Piper video i watched later, i was told to make war with sin.  The greatest enemy of a Christian is not satan.  it’s SIN.

It was a day of recognizing sin for what it is.  Always bad.  Never good.  Never “maybe i can make it into something beautiful.”  If you start with dog poop, no amount of working on it will make it beautiful, you’ll just end up with really really really nasty hands.

Our pastor said to the congregation, “Some of you are sitting there today saying you don’t know if God can forgive you. Others are thinking that it’s not that big a deal that you are mean or grumpy a lot.  It’s your personality.  Or you were born that way.  That’s just the thing!  YOU NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN!”

I’ve heard the story of Nicodemus SO many times before.  But this time it REALLY made sense.  There’s nothing wrong with saying “I can’t help my sinning.  I was BORN THIS WAY!” (prone to lust, prone to grumpiness, prone to lying, prone to doubting, prone to always going first).  You were.  It’s not your fault that your flesh is filled with stuff that’s evil and that every day it tries to make you do bad things.  It is your fault if you won’t ask him to make you born again and give you a new heart that doesn’t control you.

See why we need a SECOND birth?  Our first one left us incomplete.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit.  Not surprising that we must ask for a new spirit of love, led by Christ Himself.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

i sit on it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFBrHB70RF8&feature=related  “received Jesus?”  what’s it even mean?  “I sit on it!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized