I'm quite sure my prayers for this matter were somewhat tentative. I didn't want to set my expectations so high that I would be greatly disappointed if God should decide not to provide this opportunity for me or other team members. But I felt enough confidence and trust to mention this idea to God in my personal prayer times. I didn't, however, announce my thoughts to the rest of the team.
That was not humility but lack of honest courage. How could I admit that for past trips I hadn't really been praying for harvest opportunities? Wouldn't the team be assuming that my spiritual maturity would have included prayers for the salvation of people with whom we'd be meeting and interacting? Well, I wish that were so but I'm afraid my prayer life has lacked fervent, confident, hopeful specifics! And for that I'm sorry.
So my conversation with God this year included the dipping of my toe into a stream I'd not waded into with much exuberance in the past. And fears of failure on my part are used skillfully by the Great Deceiver to weaken, silence and intimidate me. When will I learn that allowing intimidation to silence me is a tool of Satan to weaken the ways in which God could use me if I would claim His offer of courage like Nehemiah did while he was rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem?
This is a lesson I learn and appropriate; then forget and fail to appropriate.
But my story this year is doing much to boost my joy, confidence and commitment to being a more faithful woman of prayer. The notions that lurk inside my head causing me to feel unable to be a winsome witness for Christ are not honorable but dishonorable. And my reserve is not attractive but is the product of faulty thinking and inability to step into the life of freedom and faith which God has designed for me and out of which he desires for me to serve him. I'm a trusting child of his and it's time to more firmly remember St. Paul's words to Timothy which are preserved for all of us who follow Jesus Christ.
II Timothy 1: 7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity,
but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
I admit I frequently allow intimidation to sabotage your desire for me to experience your spirit of power, love and self-discipline. I confess that I have allowed lies to limit my voice and actions. But you are my faithful, forgiving Father of whom I am not ashamed. Thank you for continuing to call me to serve you at home and abroad. Thank you for ways in which you have designed me with abilities which can serve and make you known. May my faithlessness be turned to courageous faithfulness which will result in the growth of your Kingdom. Thank you for trusting me with your words. And may you find me faithful so that your redemption plan will be unveiled to all whom you wish to draw into your family through me. I am your humble servant. Amen
The story of his answer to this prayer will continue another day.