>If you are praying, Keep it up! (please)

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I have never understood the phrase, “I felt your prayers.” I am not negating the feeling, but I have never identified with that concept.

But may I say I have been molded and changed by prayers. These last several weeks have been a drenching of God’s blessings after an arid time of waiting, being frustrated, and, well, being in a valley.

The move from New York to Missouri was not without trouble, as most of you know. Once here it was a transition from a huge ministry to a relatively small one. After two decades in New York and its inherent radio exposure, I was turning down more meetings than I was accepting. In Missouri I am an unknown, and there were periods of second-guessing…

But by His grace I tried to redeem the time, focus on what I could do rather than what I couldn’t do; and (mostly) trusted Him to work things out in His timing, and in His way.

I shared these trials with many, and I am convinced they prayed…and God has answered.

Not only has the Lord opened doors, but, more importantly, He has been refining me. Instead of being frustrated with others, I find myself more often being frustrated with myself. Instead of trying to influence people to follow my pattern of ministry, I’m “doing my own time” and trying to let others do the same. I am striving to be a better husband and daddy…and my eyes tear as I recognize, at least in part, what Spirit of God is doing in and through me.

Of course there are difficulties. Misunderstandings, my own bullheadedness, and, in fact, times when I’ve had to stand up for truth in the face of opposition…there have been plenty of situations to “consider it all joy when you encounter various trials” and to “rejoice in tribulation” and to truly believe that “all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.”

And that is what I desire most – His purpose. I wake up and the first thing I think is, “Rats, we are still here.” The second is “Thanks, Lord, that I’m not what I used to be. Sure, I’m not what I should be, or will be; but bless God I’m not what I was.” Third, I simply pray, “Lord, I don’t know what You are up to today, but can I be a part of it?”

What may His purposes entail? Beats me. Could be drastic, could be routine, but whatever it is, I want to cooperate rather than thwart His plans for my life.

So, if you are one of the faithful who genuinely pray, thanks so very, very much. And…please…don’t stop!