Before that, she read the many articles I posted to Facebook. More than once, my mom called me and thanked me for teaching her something new. But in our own ways, we all managed to teach our mom a few things. I love that mom would thank us each time she learned something new from one of us. This might be a lesson my mom and I learned together. I auditioned for plays, I applied to reach schools, and I eventually even moved to France.
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I was often a prissy child. Shocking, I know. My mom encouraged me to play outside, when all I wanted to do was read indoors.
An avid gardener, my mother led by example, because cleanliness is not a prerequisite for womanhood. Saturday mornings, she woke up before anyone else and gardened for hours. My brothers and I gave her a hard time for being dirty and sweaty when she came inside, but I was always secretly impressed at her dedication to her passion. I think it takes great love and humility to recognize when you err against your children. I have to be honest, my mom took awhile to accept this lesson herself.
Who cares what other people think of my clothes? That never stopped my mom from being a spiritual leader in her own way. She even wrote her own Sunday School curriculum for some of the classes she taught through the years. She served as a deacon in the church.
At different points, she was the vice-president and the president of the Women of the Church. My mom also self-published a wonderful book of prayers. Sometimes that means working quietly and diligently to improve our community. My mom certainly pushed expected gender roles in our church, in her own way. My mom and I actually discussed this shortly before she died.
I know it was humbling for her to accept so much assistance during her cancer journey. But she acknowledged that she would have done the same and often had done the same for the people she loved as well. When we freely give our help to others, we want them to accept it freely, without guilt or a need to repay us. If we cannot freely accept help, what does that say about our gifts to others? Mommy in her new skull cap with skulls, Gabby, and me. Several times over the years, my mom confessed to me that she partly married her first husband because she knew he would take care of her.
She was afraid to graduate college and be alone. What we pray about. In how much detail.
The more spiritually mature we are, the more this will be the heart of our prayers. We must become skilled at praying in detail for others. When Abraham was journeying through the land of Gerar, he was afraid that the king would take his wife, Sarah. Though he had tried this once before unsuccessfully, Abraham told Sarah to say she was his sister.
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For Abimelech and his household to live, Abraham would have to pray for him. Afflicted means to undergo hardship or suffer trouble. Particularly during trials, we need to draw close to God. There are probably several reasons why God does it this way. Perhaps He wants people to understand the seriousness of physical sin, and thus makes calling on that sacrifice—the stripes of Jesus Christ Isaiah ; 1 Peter —more difficult.
Whatever the case, the bottom line is that this is a situation where God commands intercessory prayer.
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God expects His ministers to be a praying ministry. Consider this verse! How much do you draw strength and support from the other members in the Church? And, on the flip side, how do you feel when someone else asks for your prayers? Here is another lesson we need to learn: Intercessory prayer can help us conquer selfishness and vanity. This verse in James shows that God hears the intercessions of His people!
It does make a difference! How many people in prayer does it require to cause God to intervene in a certain trial? This verse says that for your prayers to really get results, they must be effectual and fervent. Those two words are translated from a single Greek word: energeo. There must be work involved. How could any of us do this? Remember, the context here is intercessory prayer! Whenever someone is put out of the Church, we are instructed to pray for their repentance.
How much love do we show those people? Do we forget about them? How much do we pray for the Laodiceans?
Eternal life is on the line! When we see someone having a spiritual problem, do we take it to God? When we see our mate struggling with something, do we diligently pray for him or her? The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much—and he who converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins. Verse 20 says we can actually hide sins. It is a powerful antidote to our carnal selfishness. James shows that one main reason prayers go unanswered is that they are too selfish.
How much more does it move God when He sees us placing the needs of others before His throne—showing our concern—beseeching Him on their behalf? Thy kingdom come.
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Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.