What is on your schedule today? What is coming up in the next few days? Do you have the strength, energy, ability and capacity to get through it all? Or are you wondering in this moment how you can make it through the next few hours and days?
Do you feel as if the activity causes you to wilt as you progress through the hours of your day? Would a greater allowance of energy, strength and ability help you to blossom and burst forth in all your individual beauty?
An increased capacity for living abundantly is powered by prayer and vulnerability in community.
Last week I had an absolutely incredible opportunity to give the message at a Ladies Night event. It was such a richly blessed evening that when people ask me how it went, I fumble to even attempt to put words around it.
The best that I can come up with is Ephesians 3:20 (NIV), “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine. That is how it went. All through HIS power that was at work within those who assembled this event. I was just one part of an incredible team.
As I look back, and savor the absolute sweetness of this opportunity, I was pondering what had made this such a beautiful experience. Some of the feedback that I received from participants not only filled my heart to overflowing, but just left me in tears that so much goodness had been poured upon me.
All of the credit for the beauty, sweetness and goodness of this experience truly belongs to the Lord. It was His power at work, and I was richly blessed to be chosen as the one the Lord wanted to work this message through, for such a time as this.
There was a great deal of preparation that went into this event. In my personal reflections of this opportunity I realized that Prayer and Vulnerability in Community really helped to power the process.
I was praying for this event. I prayed that I would be able to reach deep into the insecurities of my own heart so that I would be able to speak a message that would reach the hearts of the women who attended. I prayed that I could use this platform to serve others, that they might be encouraged. I pray for the pacing of my words and the tone of my voice.
I even prayed that this message would somehow touch those who were not able to attend that evening, as I knew of several who really wanted to be there but who were unable to make it on that specific night.
I know that it was not just my prayers that fueled this work. There were so many others praying for this event. The leadership team of ladies who organizing this, friends, family and so many members of the body of Christ were warmly covering this night, my message, my life, with prayers.
The way all of these prayers came together on May 2nd, still has me sitting in awe of the power of prayer.
Vulnerability in Community
I was asked so many times if I was nervous about speaking at the event that night. Was I anxious? Was I worried? Honestly, I felt a rich peace the night of the event. I felt prepared and ready, eagerly anticipating what the Lord would do on that night.
Before you get to thinking that I am some super confident speaking guru, without flaw, you need to know that the Thursday prior to this event I woke up extremely early, I was very nervous, anxious and maybe even a little worried.
You see, that was the day I met with two of the event organizers to walk through my message in its entirety. While I had practiced many times on my own and gotten feedback from those in my household, it was the reactions of these ladies that had me most concerned.
I know these women. I have known them for years. I know I can trust them. I know any feedback they give will be an honest review poured out to make what I have better. These are incredibly talented and gifted women, who vibrantly shine with the light of the Lord.
It was not so much intimidation that I was worried about, it was being vulnerable. Vulnerability, revealing this message that is preciously ingrained into the depths of my DNA, putting it out for review and editing, it was like laying my soul bare on the table. Even though I consider these women dear friends, that kind of vulnerability is not easy.
The Bible says that iron sharpens iron, that wounds from a friend can be trusted, that two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. All true. It does take a bit of courage to be sharpened, to receive the advice to improve.
There are those little thoughts that run through my mind; “what if all of the work I did just gets thrown out the window”, “what if its all wrong requiring a total rewrite” and “what if they regret choosing me”. Anxious worries.
The time spent being vulnerable with this safe community of trusted ladies, it made everything so much more polished and stunningly beautiful. The return for our labor, for our energy and expense. Was multiplied many times over the night of the event.
Bearing with One Another
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
When we have a safe community of trusted, faith filled individuals, the love that we have for one another can bear through the fears and insecurities. This allows us the gift of being able to be vulnerable. This love can be the fuel that drives the prayers we share for each other.
“Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 (TLB)
We can even grant each other an allowance of grace to cover our faults and our short comings. The power of prayer and vulnerability in community can result in the unimaginable being manifested in our lives by our God whose love bears through all things and covers all of our faults.
Make my prayers powerful in the lives of my readers. Give them strength, energy, ability, capability, capacity and a generous allowance for this day. Help us to be faithful in praying for one another. Help us to have communities of even a few select individuals in our lives we can be vulnerable with.
May we have the courage to share, not just the good things in our lives, but to share in the struggles and short comings as well. Strength of others is most needed when we are weak, when we are exposed and when our capacity has reached its end. Give us a good return on that which we labor together on.
May the glory be all Yours along the way. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.