2 Peter 1:8 – Grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ. (TLB)
I am thankful for the prayer ministry program in our church which was begun last spring. We're growing and learning and nurturing continuously! We're called Prayer Warriors and every now and then, we have powwows to inspire and encourage and urge everyone to grow spiritually. Our pastors and music director, our secretary and all committee heads, teachers and leaders of any group, have their own personal prayer warrior. Anyone who has concerns or nagging problems is encouraged to hook up with a spiritual helper. Aren't we all in that boat?
Well, I really put mine to work over Easter break. I led a high school group of French students to France for 2 weeks, and had five prayer warriors praying daily for our safety, good health and enriching experiences. One of my prayer warriors prayed especially for "eye-opening experiences" for the students and boy! did we have it. On the very first day, I unknowingly walked them right into a protesters' demonstration in front of the US Embassy in Paris complete with tear gas, graffiti painting, riot police and gun shots. The students were terrified to see bullet-ridden posters of President Clinton with a swastika painted on his forehead and then hear French chants of "Clinton Assassin". I could not get them out of there fast enough! It was a demonstration by 300 Serbs against the American involvement in Kosovo.
Reflecting afterwards, I was actually glad we had the exposure to this. I even feel that we were led there. It certainly woke the students up out of their apathy about the aggressions taking place in the Balkans. Students saw and experienced first-hand, passionate feelings expressed for a cause.
Our experiences in Paris and in the family stays in Chartres were fabulous. We were all visibly touched going through the museums in Normandy, walking the beaches where the allies landed in World War II and touring the cemeteries. We came home healthy, happy and oh-so-much-wiser. We were saturated in prayers. The Lord was truly with us. It was the best trip I have led with students since I began in 1975. Don't you know that I am grateful to all those prayer warriors?
Although I teach in a public school, I did boldly suggest to the parents six weeks prior to the trip that they begin praying for it. I believe the prayers of my warrior friends and parents made all the difference. Prayer is a powerful tool. Encourage your friends to pray effectively for you, and we can set the example by praying earnestly for them.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your guidance and your nudgings. We pray that we can be more open to your leadings. Help us to take the time to pray, to stop, and to listen. Make us fruitful and useful. Show us how to teach, to encourage and to inspire. And we pray for peace in this troubled world. Amen.