I remember so vividly the days that I was afraid to pray in public. It was literally a paralyzing fear of mine. I hated to be in groups at church in which there would be even the slighest possibility I could get called on to pray or expected to pray in a "circle prayer". Silly...I know. But, it was very real for me. I had no problem talking to God alone - when it was just my Savior and me. But in front of others...please, no.
I shared this fear with my very closest friend many years ago, only to discover that she, too, had the same fear. After several conversations about this very issue of ours, we decided that it was time to go into battle against this enemy driven fear. The battlefield? My living room floor. On our knees. Praying together. Out loud! We knew we had to face this fear in order to overcome it. We also trusted each other to know that neither of us would ever even attempt to make the other one feel inadequate. There were no "magic prayers". We weren't trying to pray like those eloquent praying Christians at church. We simply wanted to talk to our Heavenly Father...our Abba...and ask Him to change this in us. So we sounded the trumpets.
"When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies." Number 10:9 NIV
The Israelites were instructed long ago by the Lord, via Moses, that certain signals blown on the trumpets meant different things. Often a single blast called out the leaders only to the gathering place, but sometimes the entire assembly would be called out by a second blast. And, the Lord clearly instructed them to blow the trumpets whenever they were in battle against an oppressive enemy in their own land...and, they would be remembered and rescued by God.
Just as my friend and I sounded the trumpet years ago...as we went into "battle in our own land" over this enemy trying to keep us from an effective prayer life...God remembered us and rescued us. Our prayer life took on new strength...new fervency...new life...new passion.
Now, many years later I find myself bathed in prayer a lot during the course of the week. I begin each morning in prayer. I pray frequently throughout the course of a day by myself but often with others as well. I'm the prayer coordinator for a Connect Group at church and spend a lot of time organizing and disseminating their prayers as well as spending time on my knees lifting them up. I participate in a weekly prayer with a small group of ladies. I have cyber friends that I pray for quite often. I have strangers that send me prayer requests that I faithfully lift up. I am on the crisis prayer team and website prayer team of my church, meaning that I pray over every crisis prayer and website prayer that is submitted. Folks...I'm not saying this to receive any kind of accolades. This is simply what God has done through me...through a fear I turned over to Him...and all glory goes to Him.
He took a woman full of fear regarding public prayer and created a woman passionate about prayer that LOVES to pray out loud with others as often as possible. We sounded the trumpets years ago...God remembered...God rescued.
Those same trumpets are being sounded today. Just to give you a glimpse of some of things we're battling in our Connect Group...
---we're praying for provision for two families in the midst of new business start ups
---we're praying for a family that has been trying to sell their house for over two years and dealing with no steady income due to job loss
---we're praying for children to return to the Lord
---we're praying for a family that just said goodbye to their 4-year-old as she went home to be with the Lord following a battle with cancer.
---we're praying for a couple desperate to conceive that are struggling with infertility
---we're praying for couples that have recently adopted that are still transitioning with their new forever children
---we're praying for siblings to come to know the Lord
---we're praying for supernatural financial provision
---we're praying for our short-term mission teams (next trip leaves today to Haiti)
---we're praying for wisdom & discernment as God is asking some to make very tough, leap of faith decisions
---we're praying for wisdom in parenting our children
---we're praying desperately for God's hand to be upon us
Once again, we're sounding the trumpets. We're in a battle in our own land against a very real and oppressive enemy. And...we're crying out to God to remember us and rescue just as He's done over and over and over since the days of the Israelites.
And...so I invite you. When have you last sounded your trumpets and called your "assembly" to prayer? God is ready to meet us on our battleland and rescue us from our enemies. Are we remembering to ask Him to? Can I go to the throne room on your behalf? How can I pray for you?