As I grow older, I find there are a lot of things I can’t do anymore. I can’t run a mile under seven minutes, I can’t eat a hot dog without getting indigestion, I can’t see very well without my glasses, I can’t look in the mirror without seeing wrinkles, and I can’t beat my grandson at Speed (card game) - at least very often. And that’s just the beginning of the list. However, no matter how old you get, there is one thing you can always do - and that is learn! You’re never too old to be learning, and I have found that out first hand since becoming director of Disciplers Bible Studies. I think I have learned a lot, and I have discovered that there are still many things I don’t know - things I probably should know. But I’m still learning.
I’m learning about websites, blogs, mobile banking, designer software, the time differences in various cities of the country, download managers, online print and ship, and the blessings of an iPhone (That last one really surprised me!). I’m learning about the various Disciplers classes across our great country and the amazing men and women who lead them. Of course, I’m still learning about the Bible. That is an inexhaustible subject. But most of all, I’m learning about prayer.
I am embarrassed to say that I have never been a great prayer warrior. Pearl Hamilton used to tell our Disciplers class how the Lord would wake her up at four in the morning to pray for someone in need. I would slink down in my seat, ashamed that even when I set my alarm to get up to pray at six o’clock, I would often turn over, pull the covers over my head, and go back to sleep.
However, when I took the reins of Disciplers, God began to impress upon me the importance of prayer. A ministry that is centered on the Word of God must be a praying ministry. And the prayer must begin with me. So I decided that I would begin praying for every class that ordered lessons, and I would pray faithfully! I have not been perfect, but God has encouraged me in being persistent in my prayers as He has consistently answered specific requests for Disciplers classes and individuals - people I have never met, some of whom live almost ten thousand miles away from me, people who are very different from me in age and ethnic, social, economic, and family background. But as I have been praying for our "Disciplers family", I have begun to know them better and feel a commitment to them through our common love of the Lord and His Word. I have begun to feel an attachment, which is that scarlet thread, the blood of Christ, that binds us together.
I love praying for two young moms: one is in Alabama and a homeschooling mom of seven, the other a Disciplers class leader and mother of three in Montana. Then there is another young mom in North Carolina who began doing Disciplers studies on her own - hard to get out to a study with small children at home. Now she leads a Disciplers group of young single women. I love praying for several groups of older women - in California, Michigan, Ohio, and two in North Carolina who have been doing Disciplers lessons for many years. Sometimes they talk about “retiring” but then the Holy Spirit urges them on by showing them in very specific ways that He is not finished with them yet! I love praying for several men's groups. There are two in North Carolina particularly. One is a group of bankers who meet early in the morning before work. The other meets early on Sunday morning before church and Sunday school. Their pastor meets with them also and they pray for him before he preaches. I love praying for the ladies’ group in Michigan whose pastor meets with them each week. Wouldn’t it be great if more pastors would be involved in Bible studies? Then there is the group of Air Force wives in Northern California whose husbands are deployed or work long hours and they meet to encourage one another in the Word. There is a group in Ohio with members from nine different denominations. A long time Disciplers leader in North Carolina teaches two classes with a total of five hundred women. There are leaders who fight depression but persist in ministry to their Disciplers groups. How can you not help interceding for them and feeling blessed to do so? I also love praying for all those using the new Disciplers youth lessons.
And then there are the prison classes - four of them in North Carolina. They are God’s Beloveds behind high fences with barbed wire. Some of these women spend hours doing their lessons and wrestling with their answers. Some have children at home who do not know the Lord. Some are persecuted for their faith in Christ. Most spend holidays alone and lonely. I want to pray for them always! And I want to pray for those women who go into the prisons armed with their Bibles, Disciplers lessons, and hearts spilling over with courage, determination, love, and compassion for needy women. Sometimes praying for Shepherd’s Heart and Changed Hearts prison ministries leaders just leaves me with a heart overflowing with joy and thankfulness for what they do and what God does through them.
Actually, it is my honor and privilege to pray for all of you who are committed to studying God's Word. I wish I had space to mention you all! God has used all of you to encourage me to pray. I have learned what it means to “pray without ceasing,” to always have that humble spirit and mind that is open to whatever or whoever the Lord pops into my head and heart - to be receptive to the nudging from the Spirit to pray for people and their needs, their hurts, and their aspirations, anytime and anywhere and all the time and everywhere.
But the biggest lesson I have learned since beginning to serve in this capacity in Disciplers and beginning to learn to be a prayer warrior is that the more you pray for someone, the more you come to love them. Its true! Stop and think about that for a moment. I think there is a lesson in that. Don’t you need to take up the privilege of prayer more often? It will encourage and bless your soul. I promise! Plus, it will encourage love to grow in this fallen world of ours.
If you have a prayer need, you are welcome to share it through the Contact Us page on our website. We have a whole team of loving, caring prayer warriors who will hold you up to the throne of grace.
Loving you in prayer ~
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.