One of the ladies Bible study groups that I lead has just begun a new study on prayer. As I was contemplating the topic and, yes, praying about it, I happened to catch the end of one of Dr. Charles Stanley's radio broadcasts on the topic of prayer. It was so powerful that I knew I had to hear the whole thing so I ordered the 4 disc CD set of the entire message. I have since listened to the entire set 6 times. It is powerful indeed!
Now I have known for a long time that all teaching should be bathed in prayer but Dr. Stanley really drove the point home. It amazed me how much time he spends in preparation on his knees! Dad was the same way. He knew the importance of prayer not just for his ministry but for him as a son of God. It is of utmost importance for all of us as children of God!
This afternoon as I was preparing to go to the jail tonight I prayed about what God would have me share with the ladies of cell block C. I already had a lesson prepared and was just putting the final touches on it but I sincerely prayed that I would say the things that God wanted me to say. I pray for this all the time but all this week I have had this on my heart as I prayed and sincerely wanted God to take over. I did not want to do anything from my power but only through the power of God.
As I was sharing at the jail tonight I was talking about one of the points in the Scripture but I went on to share some other aspects of the Scripture that I had not intended to discuss when I was preparing. All at once some of the women started nodding, looking around at each other, and one asked, "Did God tell you to say that? It was just what we needed!"
Friends, that can only be God. Yes, I had studied and prepared. I had a nice tidy study all laid out but bathed in prayer it became a powerful force that spoke to hearts all around. The Spirit of God moved among the women at the jail and it would not have happened if it had not been for my willing spirit and the prayers that were offered up. For all those who pray for me as I teach at the jail, I want to say thank you! I could not do what I do without a solid foundation of prayer.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (The Message)
I was unsure of
how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death,
if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed
you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit
and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a
response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork
by me or anyone else.