SIX SELFISH REASONS I ATTEND LADIES PRAYER
BY CARA BAKER
Originally I started attending Tuesday night ladies prayer at my church because I heard how many prayers had been answered in miraculous ways. People who don’t even attend our church will come to the ladies group for special prayer. The ladies anoint prayer cloths and distribute them to specific needs represented during the session. They keep a prayer log of prayers answered. It sounded like the happenin’ place to be, so I checked it out.
I went sporadically for the first few weeks, but I have to be honest-the reasons I attend faithfully now are purely selfish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
1. Discipline-I attend to ensure that I make time for an hour and a half of focused prayer. Sure, I try for the daily 30-minute “devotion” time in the morning, but inevitably I oversleep three out of five days, eliminating that sacred time to a five-minute “Hello God!” on my way out the door.
2. Escape-I’ve found that Tuesday nights are a refuge from the hurricane otherwise known as my life. Through the constant demands of my time during the week, I know that during the hours of 8-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, I don’t have to do anything but sit in a darkened room and talk to God. Or just sit there if I can’t talk. Often it takes me 30 minutes to even focus and slow down my constantly swimming brain.
3. Perspective-My life revolves around me. Just me. As a single person who lives alone, I pretty much only have myself and my messes to worry about. And, boy, do I worry about them! I realize when I go to ladies prayer and hear all of the heart-breaking and urgent needs that I should be ashamed for stressing out about my non-existent problems. This week’s needs: A couple facing divorce, someone who’s been diagnosed with a terminal disease, and a single mom who’s just been laid off. They’d do anything to be in my shoes. I don’t want to take that for granted.
4. Social-I’m finding a small group of women to talk with and share with that I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise in a 400+ congregation.
5. Insurance-I realize that one day I’m going to be in desperate need of God’s intervention in my life, or in the life of someone I know. Building a rapport with these women now will help them be spiritually and emotionally in tune with me when it’s my turn at bat.
6. Witness-I’ve found that my involvement with a weekly prayer group affords me easy opportunities for witnessing. A coworker (who was aware of my weekly commitment because I couldn’t stay and work late one night) came to me when he found out his mother was going in for tests for what the doctors thought might be cancer. I told him the ladies would pray and that I’d bring him a prayer cloth. (See Acts 19:11-12.) I explained to him the reason we anoint prayer cloths (a tangible, physical item to focus our faith on) and gave him scriptures that talk about faith and the effects of prayer (Matthew 21:22; Romans 8:26, 12:12; Philippians 4:6-7; James 5:15-17).
So my motivation may fall on the self-serving side, but the end results benefit more than myself-I’m encouraging other women by showing up faithfully and I’m helping people reach God for answers to their needs. It’s a win-win situation.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY CARA BAKER, APRIL 28, 2003. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.