Worth Repeating

This year before the holidays I diligently wrote and scheduled ahead so I could enjoy family time without worrying about blogging for a few weeks. Well, now the pre-written blogs have been used up, and I still have family stuff going on.

For that reason, and because I have many new followers since last New Year’s, and  because this is one of my more amazing, what-are-the-chances?! experiences, today I am rerunning something you may not have seen. Enjoy, and I promise something fresh and new next week!

                                A Warrior’s Story

God is our refuge and strength,                                                                                                       an ever-present help in trouble.                                                                      He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;                                                                                  he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,                                                                          he burns the shields with fire.                                                                      “Be still, and know that I am God;                                                                                                   I will be exalted among the nations,                                                                                   I will be exalted in the earth.”                                 Psalm 46:1,9,10


I came across this journal entry from three years ago and just had to share it with my readers. This was probably the most exciting New Year’s I have ever had. Enjoy!                  

It’s New Year’s Day in Louisville. And in New York. And in L. A. And in Paris and Munich and the Middle East. And as far as I know, there have been no successful terrorist attacks.

There were threats, and as usual I prayed. I’ve been praying against terrorism daily since July of 2005. I had become frustrated with praying for the families of the victims after the fact and asked God how – with no idea where the enemy was or what their targets were – I could narrow down my prayer to be the kind of specific prayer He answers in my life – before these things happen. He had said (in His “still, small voice”), “Narrow it down to what they have planned today.”

Have these prayers been answered? I have a file folder full of articles – just the ones I’ve seen and saved – about thwarted terrorist attacks, some foiled by the authorities and some stopped by ordinary citizens who “saw/heard something suspicious;” some failed because the explosives didn’t detonate, and some failed because the perpetrator had a change of heart. Those are my favorite stories – where a former would-be terrorist is now a child of God – an evangelist, a church planter, an igniter of revival. (Glory!)

Do I think I personally have stopped terrorists? No … well, not exactly. I do believe in the power of prayer, otherwise I would not have prayed the same prayer over 4,000 times and would not be planning to continue. I do believe there’s power in consistent prayer and prayer by many people, and if an act of terror occurred because only 99 people prayed against it and 100 prayer warriors could have stopped it, I don’t want to be the weak link. Of course, GOD is the One who answers those prayers, but for whatever reason, I believe He honors consistency and unity.

I usually pray [these prayers] at night, because if/when I resolved to pray in the morning, there was always something to distract me or make me forget, so I just have a rule that I don’t lie down until I’ve covered our nation, leaders, military, intelligence, security, law enforcement, targets, and the terrorists themselves in prayer. If I am especially tired, it’s hard and might take an hour to pray what I should have been able to pray in eight minutes. (Some will call me obsessive, but I take this stuff seriously.)

Yesterday I prayed earlier in the day than usual and prayed specifically for New York City, Washington D. C., and Los Angeles. I had read that these cities were on high alert because of some threats. I had also heard that over a million people were expected to be in Times Square that night.

Marty and I didn’t go out for any New Year’s Eve festivities. We’re new in town,  and we haven’t made enough friends yet to be invited to any parties. So after babysitting the grandchildren … we turned to Netflix and spent the next 5-10 minutes browsing. After reading a few plot synopses, we settled on “Survivor” (or “The Survivor”) – a movie evidently about stopping a terrorist attack. I thought, “Good, it’ll remind me to keep praying for New York City.” So I said another prayer for those million+ people.

I prayed on and off even as we were watching the movie, and when I realized the terror plot in the show involved a an attack on Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I thought, What a coincidence! and kept praying.

At one point I was heating my shoulder pad in the microwave for an achy neck and noticed it was 11:53. I thought, Only 7 more minutes. I sat back down, and the film showed a sign in Times Square saying  “Only 7 minutes to go!”

I realized this “random” movie, that we “randomly” picked – off Netflix – and started at a “random” time was synchronized – to the minute – with our New Year’s Eve. (We couldn’t have planned that if we’d wanted to, even if we had known in advance what the plot was.)

It didn’t occur to me until this morning that God was encouraging me about the power of my prayers, as I remembered the end of the movie, where one of the characters said to the woman who had stopped the terrorists, “There were a million people here tonight. And you saved all of them.”

Do I think I saved everybody in Times Square last night? Of course not. I do believe in the power of prayer, and who knows how many other people who believe in it were praying last night? And God is the One who answers the prayers, but for whatever reason, I believe He honors consistency and unity. And I don’t want to be the weak link.

– journal,  January 1, 2016

Prayer: Lord, we understand so little about the power of prayer, just that You want us to do it. Thank You for all the times You have proven true to Your promises and answered us when we cried out to you. Help us to be faithful, too, in whatever You have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

26 thoughts on “Worth Repeating

  1. Thank you for this reminder. It is a great idea to pray for terrorist attacks to be thwarted before they happen. Will add it to my prayer list.
    Hope to see you next summer.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When I was in Iraq I often wonder how many near misses of bombs failing to go off, suicide bombers hitting the wrong building that looks like ours and other misses and think it must be the prayers of the saints back home

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Meanwhile, back home, I was wondering how many times my prayers have been answered. 😉
    God bless you, Jim! I wonder if you were in Iraq the same time my son-in-law was …
    The prologue of the third book in my trilogy is another scenario I like to envision, where God reaches a suicide bomber before it’s too late. (This has happened!) It was originally a short story entitled “A Day in the Life of a Terrorist.”


  4. Love, love this! It isn’t just prayer, though. It is our obedience. When we obey God, and we do what he says, and we pray, or we write poems or songs or devotionals, or we talk with people, and we are sensitive to those opportunities the Lord brings across our paths, and we minister to people’s lives in whatever way the Lord leads at any given moment, we have the potential to save human lives.

    You have prayed the same prayer over 4,000 times, and the Lord has given me over 4,000 writings since 2006, and we are both obeying the Lord in doing what he says, but it is God who gives the increase, as you said. But, we (all of us who are walking in his love) share in that harvest of righteousness in people’s lives. That is the fruit of our labors of love. And, I do believe lives are saved by our faithfulness and our consistency, too, in doing what God leads us to do, whatever that may be.

    Prayer is essential, and I think that is awesome how God has been leading you in prayer. I enjoyed reading this very much! And, I loved how you shared about how God perfectly times things together and how he orchestrates things that we could not possibly do ourselves, even if we tried. I have seen him do that so many times in my life, too. And, that is just a reminder that it is God at work, and it isn’t of our own flesh, and so I stand in awe of God. I know you do, too. Thank you so much for sharing this. It was an encouragement to my heart!! God bless you, Annie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a great post. Thanks for the reminder of consistency and unity in our prayer life. I feel this is where I miss it too often. It’s not that I don’t pray; I pray all the time, but I never feel it’s enough, and I definitely don’t feel I’m disciplined enough. Praying 2020 to be a year where He pricks my heart more often to hit my knees and to see Him clearly in day to day moments, both to pray and to share His story with someone new. Thanks, again, for this great reminder. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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