I can't believe it was almost twenty years ago! We pastored a little church in the Hood River Valley of Oregon. Our little community was at the base of beautiful Mt. Hood, and in the middle of acres of fruit orchards.
We lived in a small, white parsonage...a home owned by the church for their "parson" to live in, which was us. My three girls went to a christian school in a town down the mountain from us, and had just left for the day. Hubby had headed next door to his office at the church. I headed to my bedroom, to my place of prayer in the corner where the two windows met.
I had just begun to pray using the guidelines found in the book Could You Not Tarry One Hour by Larry Lea. The premise of the book was that when Jesus taught His disciples to pray what we now call "The Lord's Prayer" it was as though He was giving them an outline for prayer. For instance, we begin prayer by focusing on the fact that God is our Father, and that we are adopted into His family through Jesus' death on the cross. So, I opened my Bible and Larry's book, beginning on my journey as a young mom, to pray.
Hubby was sitting at the desk in his office at the church. The desk faced a large window looking east, towards Hwy. 35 which ran in front of the church and our home. Suddenly, he sees a car careen off of the highway, running over the church mailbox, and heading straight to our house...to the corner where I was praying.
As I was kneeling, suddenly the whole house shudders. I'm puzzled, having no idea what just happened. I stand up and look out the bedroom window...dumbfounded to see a car, right there, his front bummer up against the house, right in front of me.
I've carried with me two lifelong lessons from that day.
1) Prayer is powerful. When I knelt there and prayed, "kingdom of God come, will of God be done in me and those I love, in our church, in our little town, in our nation..." the enemy of my soul and yours, satan, wanted to stop little old me from praying. And he wants to stop you because prayer is powerful.
2) God is my protection. I don't have to hang back in fear...refuse to pray for fear of treading on the enemy's toes. God is my Refuge and Strength, my Shield and Fortress. One foot to the left or to the right and that car would have come through my bedroom wall, but instead it first hit a low barrier of cement encircling the outside irrigation pipe. It brunted the impact enough that the car came through the siding of the house, but did not penetrate the inner walls. (Now that could preach! Outside circumstances don't have to penetrate our spirit...oh joy of that revelation, just now as I sit here typing!)
It is a privilege to "boldly come into the throne room of God",( Hebrews 4:16), to seek His face, and to beseech Him on behalf of others! I've gone back to those beginnings lately...pulling out marked up and highlighted copies of those twenty year old prayer guides.
Once again I kneel and pray...
"Our Father, Who is in Heaven, Oh God how holy is Your Name. God, do You know how beautiful Your Name is to Me? How precious? Help me to always honor Your Holy Name.
Kingdom of God come, will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven. Today in me, in my husband, my girls, my sons in law, my grandbabies let Your kingdom come and will be done. Bring righteousness, peace and joy that characterizes Your kingdom into us, into the hurting ones in my family, our church, our world. (Romans 14:17)
Give us this day our daily bread...You see our needs God...I present them to You right now. I trust in Your care for us. Faithful God, You have never failed to provide. Thank You, God!
Oh, God forgive me of my sins, and help me to walk in forgiveness towards others. I receive Your forgiveness and the ability to be forgiving today.
Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. God, keep us from traps of sin and deception. Help us to walk in truth and freedom. (John 8:32)
For Yours is the Kingdom, Power and the Glory Forever! AMEN!