Thursday, July 18, 2019

God's Answering Machine

I'm in the midst of my 5th summer season in Ibiza, and no matter how much I think I've learned, there's always more. The thing that drew me to Ibiza initially was prayer. I was at a place in my life where my passion for prayer was growing, and I knew that it was a big part of the work out here. 

When we're out on in the west end at night, we work in this rhythm where you're out on the streets for an hour, and then in the prayer room for an hour. I've always loved both aspects of the work, the streets and prayer. But this season my eyes have really been opened to just how connected the two are. 

I've had some nights in the prayer room where I've felt led to pray for something, and then I step out on the streets the next hour and walk right into a situation that is exactly what I was praying about. One of the girls I work with prayed something specific in the prayer room and when it was her hour out on the streets she got into a conversation with someone who then proceeded to word for word say her prayer back to her! 

Seeing God move so quickly fills me with such faith! It also reminds me that God is here. He's present and he's listening. I think sometimes we pray like God has some sort of prayer answering machine. 

It's as if we believe that when we pray, God's not actively listening. It's like we think we're leaving our prayers on his machine and he'll get back to us when he's free!

"And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for."     - 1 John 5:15-16 (NLT)
Truth is, God is listening. Seeing God move so clearly and quickly on the streets has filled my prayer life with such faith. Not just the faith to ask for stuff, but the kind of faith that wants to get closer to God's heart, and start praying the things I find there.

I think this idea of "God's answering machine" comes when we feel like God isn't answering our prayers quick enough. When we pray, sometimes the answer God gives us is...wait. During those tough waiting times, we need to remember that we're not on God's to-do list. He's with us in the waiting! I love Hagar's story in Genesis 16. When she was desperate and didn't know what to do, God stepped in and helped her. In verse 13 she decides to give God a new name. El Roi, which means  "The God who Sees me".  I love that because it reminds me that when things are going crazy in my life. God is there. He sees me.

Pray with Faith. God is listening, he's present. Believe that he's going to move in big ways in response to your prayers. And when God's answer to your prayer feels like it's taking a long time, remember God doesn't have an answering machine. He hears your prayers, he sees you, and he's with you in the waiting!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Photo Friday 001

Lately I've been pushing myself to be more creative. With that in mind, I'm going to start doing a weekly post of photographs here on the blog. The goal is to give you a little glimpse of the place and the people that I love so much. And while I'm at it, hopefully I'll be challenged to step up my creative game!

I hope you enjoy...

Friday, May 3, 2019

Thoughts (Not Snakes) On a Plane...

Re-posted from my Poppy in Ibiza Newsletter:

A few months ago I spent a week in England doing some fun things with 24-7 Prayer. I was settling in to my flight back home when I noticed something interesting. While the flight attendants were preparing to present the usual emergency demonstration, all around me people were tuning out.

I kind of always feel bad for flight attendants at this point because hardly anyone is paying attention. As I watched this happen, I realized how crazy it is. While they give life saving information, people are putting on headphones, talking, or even falling asleep. It's become so familiar that people have stopped paying attention.

As I was sitting there, I realized that we sometimes do this with God's word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says this:
"Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us."

We get that scripture is important for out spiritual growth, but let's be honest. Just like the flight attendants safety demonstration, sometimes scripture starts to feel like this familiar thing that we've heard over and over again. We hear the first few words of John 3:16 and we start to zone out. 

Been there, done that. 

As I sat on the plane pondering, I felt the challenge to be aware of God's word, and what he's trying to speak to me through it. I believe we serve a God who is all about the details. If I'm hearing a verse over and over again, it may be because God knows one day I'm going to need it. Just like I may need to actually put those flight attendant safety instructions into action one day!

So my challenge to you today is to listen well. Ask God what he wants you to hear, and open your ears to hear what he wants to speak to you! 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

24-7 Prayer Gathering in Vienna

It's been way too long since I've blogged! Winter has been good, and I've got lots of stuff to update you on. The last thing I mentioned (all the way back in October), was that I was headed to Vienna to attend the annual 24-7 prayer gathering. I've been involved with 24-7 for 10 years now and I've ALWAYS wanted to go to a gathering. When I was living in the US, the logistics of coming were a little more involved and expensive.

This year, even though I was geographically closer, my budget was even tighter. Thankfully, I managed to get a few sponsors who covered my flight, hotel and ticket.

After all the years of waiting, I must say that the gathering lived up to the hype! It was an amazing time with fantastic speakers and powerful worship. It was also a great time to meet new people from all over the world, and to re-connect with people who I've met in Ibiza over the years. 

One of the highlights for me was the night we were allowed to hold our worship service at St Stephen's Cathedral. It was built back in 1160, and the experience of worshiping in a place where people have done so for hundreds of years was amazing. 

This year's gathering is in Belfast, and I'm already making plans to go! 

Here's a video of one of my favorite talks from the conference.