I have 2 older brothers, wonderful people.Chris is the oldest, you may remember him from here. He lives in Texas. He married Rachel in 1997 and they have 2 kiddos. The youngest had a birthday last week and we took the invite (whether we were really invited is up in the air, I believe I invited myself along with my loud children) to come celebrate with them.
Paul is 11, last year we got to be with him on his birthday - they used to live in Florida so we were excited to have the chance to celebrate with them.
So this year when I needed to head to the city to get things for the new bathroom and they were going to NRH2O for the birthday I packed up and went that way. Sorda, I left all my clothes at home. And Cady had twice as many because she packed herself and I packed for her. Too bad I don't wear a size 8 kid.
Last year when I walked through their new house before they moved in, I noticed a peculiar closet.It's a safe room actually. Built to get in when a tornado is coming.
I told Rachel she had a prayer closet. Muslims pray 5 times a day and some of them will have a prayer room in their homes. I have always wanted a prayer room. I pray all day- in my sleep, before meals, in need, in praise. I pray A LOT. My prayers are not mandatory they are in response to God drawing me to himself all day long.
Rachel is who she is today because of prayer. She has seen some really hard times the last 5-6 years and the only way we got through them was prayer. Chris, I and every pastor in east Texas. She is passionate. She is persistent. She is inspiring. She is relevant. She is real. She is a changed person.
She took my suggestion and made that closet into a prayer closet. This visit she invited me in. The pics were on my phone. Sorry for poor quality.
She is an avid reader.
I wish I had a closet or a prayer room, maybe one day. But in that little room is where Rachel finds the ability to put one foot in front of the other in a battle she fights every day with depression, anxiety, and oppression. She fights on her knees and she's winning. But the enemy hasn't stopped. We didn't "pray a prayer" and suddenly she was healed. Not in this case. But she's come so far and God has used her pain to glorify himself. She will write a book one day. She needs to. She took Jesus at his word and believed him when he said, " The peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives." (John 14:27) When she asked the world for peace of mind they suggested a pill. She said no and kept searching.
Prayer changes things. Sometimes us, sometimes the circumstance. When a believer beckons God's ear in faith after solid obedience to his word he not only listens and perceives, he acts. He promised he would. And when he doesn't act the way we think he should, there is a reason. He is God and we are not, that's reason enough. I have lived long enough to have many prayers not answered. He has always comforted me in the disappointment. And so I keep praying.