One of the most beautiful and precious gifts that I have in my life is having friends who pray.
I have been blessed with some absolutely incredible friends. They will go the second mile for me and my family. They are there when we need them. There is great strength in the relationships that we share which helps us maneuver through life’s complications. One of the greatest gifts that they bring is their willingness to fall upon their knees and lift me up to God.
I have just been so blessed recently by my wonderful prayer warriors!
Before I share what they mean to me and the amazing examples of what they have done for me, I have to make an admission. I do not always go to them like I should. Sometimes I think I will burden them with my prayer requests. Other times I think they will think poorly of me if I share the deep truths about what is going on. I am selfish and I am prideful. I am very much concerned about me, myself and I.
Even in my weakness, I try my best to be committed to prayer. I am a firm believer that seeing prayers answered spurs us on to deepen our prayer lives. So I have to share this amazing story with you.
This weekend my husband, Eric, and I were able to get away for the weekend. It has been a very long time since the two of us have had a weekend away where we were not at some point doing something for someone. We often squeeze our weekends away in with things like attending weddings. But this was not one of those weekends. This was just the two of us getting away for us; for fellowship, for fun and to nourish our marriage.
We live on a farm. It is not easy for us to get away. My heart has been aching for this for so long. So much in fact that I made it one of my goals in January that Eric and I would get away for one weekend alone together some time this year. I have been lamenting for a while now that half the year has already gone by. Times have been suggested only to have other things come up. Our weekend kept getting pushed off farther and farther.
It says in Proverbs 13:12 (NIV), “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
My poor heart was sick; sick to tears of not having time, uninterrupted time alone, with the man I love and cherish. Our oneness was starting to feel very weak. In fact, throughout last week we were doubting whether or not this trip would happen. It was about 8:00pm on Friday night when Eric announced that we were good to pack up stuff for the kids because they were going to Grandpa & Grandma’s house so we could get away for the weekend.
On Monday July 1st, I had asked one friend to pray for Eric and I in hopes that we would be able to get away. I should have probably been asking more to pray, but I did not. However, only God knows how many are praying for us on a regular basis. We left early Saturday morning. At 7:00am I sent a text out to 14 amazing people asking them to be in prayer for our weekend. My specific request was for prayers to protect our weekend to allow us time to laugh and time to savor & delight in each other.
I know they were faithful in their prayers because God responded in such wonderful ways that I am crying tears of joy while I write this.
The time I spent with Eric was so renewing. We went with no schedule or set agenda. The only thing we really wanted to do was to find a church to attend on Sunday morning so that we could worship together to refresh our souls.
Everything we did we took at a much slower pace than we would when tending to our normal responsibilities or when our two kids would be with us. We tried to do things that were out of the ordinary. We wanted to be adventurous in the little things like not going to the same restaurants and ordering the same thing we always do.
We walked through a state park. We hiked through a nature center. We ate long slow meals together. We laughed. We talked. We shared hopes. We talked about our struggles. We stopped at silly roadside attractions. We meandered around. We held hands. We dreamed of all the possibilities that may lie before us. We talked about what God was doing in our lives. We discussed the state of our marriage. We got some extra sleep. We went swimming. It was all so gloriously blessed.
Late on Friday night we had done a bit of Google searching for a church to visit. We found a place called Elevate church. We had both a peace and excitement when we were looking on their website. Sunday morning we attended their 11:00am worship service. God met us there is an incredibly big way with a message that could have been specifically written for us because it spoke right into our hearts. Broken and honest admissions followed, but all took place wrapped in God’s love and grace. God blessed us with new hope for the sweetness of years of marriage yet to come.
I know without a doubt that the prayers of each of our precious friends helped our weekend to be covered in love, grace, mercy and joy. When the Proverbs verse says that a longing fulfilled is a tree of life, how true it is. We are feeling it right now, that amazing life that God has blessed us with.
My dear friends who read this, you have to know that I felt the comfort, the power and the hope of your prayers this weekend! Thank you so much for every faithful word you lifted to Heaven for us. I am still in awe of God and of how He is using you in our lives. I wish I could take what I feel, this deep gratitude welling up inside of me, and share it with you. Thank you for faithfully praying for us.
PEP UP for Joy was something that I started so I could Passionately Encourage and Pray for others, lifting them UP and spreading joy. It is I that has received such an abundance of blessing. It is the Passionate Encouragement and Prayers of friends that has so greatly Uplifted me and given me joy beyond anything my silly little words could explain.
It is my hope for all of you, that you would have friends who would pray for you. It is my hope that I could pay forward even a tiny amount of what I have received.
So let me start by being a friend who will lift you up in prayer right now.
Dearest and Beloved Lord,
Thank You so much for friends, even more so, thank You for friends who pray. Lord, that is such an marvelous blessing that I am in awe of. Thank You for hearing and for answering the prayers of my friends. Thank You for the awesome and amazing blessing that they are in my life.
Lord, I lift up to You right now each and every person who prays for me, every person who I consider a friend and all of the friends I have not met yet, especially all of the dear ones who take time to read my words. Please God, bless them with Your favor. Help them to be aware of Your presence. Most of all help them to feel and receive Your awesome love for them.
Lord, please bless them with life, abundant life that will overwhelm any heartsickness they feel from hope being deferred. Take their struggles and sufferings, use them as transformative tools to produce strength, joy, hope and perseverance. Lord, please give them the courage to reach out to others and ask for prayers when they need them.
Thank You Lord again for Your love, mercy and grace. You are amazing. I love You so much my Beloved Lord! Thank You for treasuring us so!
In Jesus’ name, amen.