FEELING DISCONNECTED? You are NOT alone! It may feel as if you are all alone, but you are not. A sense of “disconnectedness” or isolation is becoming epidemic in our culture these days. How ironic that condition is, considering we have more avenues of communication available to us now than at any other time in history. It is odd that we have become so dependent on snippets of thoughts from other people, as communicated in text messages and e-mails, yet we have become increasingly paralyzed in terms of authentic relationships.
Only a couple of decades ago, our family’s primary form of entertainment was inviting friends to our house for dinner. Food was the excuse for hours of conversation and laughter. It was not considered an unusual activity for people to spend time in the homes of others. Although my husband and I continue that tradition (it’s cheaper by far than going out to eat!), it seems that others now regard us as odd birds; people continually thank us for “opening our home,” which, in fact, is rarely closed (maybe between midnight and 5:00 a.m., if you don’t want to stay the night with us). No one drops by for coffee or lunch without calling first; perhaps that is polite, but, as a young parent, I grew to love drop-ins. I didn’t have to clean my house for a drop-in; an unexpected guest could just take what I had to offer or leave it. It was lovely! However, these days my doorbell rarely rings at the hand of an unplanned visitor. Moreover, the pace of life has accelerated to the point that it is quite a challenge to carve out an hour or two (much less an entire morning or afternoon or evening) to spend with friends. My husband and I are finding ourselves the relics of a nearly bygone era of self-made in-home entertainment that does not rely on watching movies or playing video games. We love to talk — yes, simply TALK.
A few years ago, those of us who are leaders in our Aglow group asked ourselves what we have to offer our community that is unique. Nowadays, there are numerous churches that can boast of well-developed women’s ministry programs, excellent Bible studies, and even various types of diversions and entertainment. As a group of local women from different congregations, what do we really have to offer anyone? The answer that dropped in our hearts was simple: relationship. First and foremost, the Gospel is essentially relational — it is the magnificent story of a holy God who sent Jesus to become sin on our behalf in order to restore us (broken people) to relationship with Himself, in order to reconcile us to Himself. In turn, we have the privilege of offering friendship to others, based on the friendship God has extended to us. In a culture that is increasingly disconnected (in spite of Facebook, texting, Twitter, and all manner of social media), people appear to have lost the understanding of what faithful friendship really is. Relationships have become largely virtual, in a sense, electronic. The challenge before us is to present the good news about Jesus and ask Him to empower us to offer our lives to one another. THAT is what Houston Northeast Aglow is about! If you are feeling isolated or disconnected, we encourage you to dare to join us at one of our meetings. We would honestly LOVE to have you visit us, as we specialize in including people. Check out our events page to see details of what we are up to!
What is the Lord currently speaking to us, both personally and corporately?
The call to prayer could not be more persistent or more pronounced. God IS calling His people to pray. This call does not apply only to official “prayer warriors” or “intercessors”; it applies to all of us ordinary women. If you ever harbored a secret desire to work as an undercover agent, this is your chance! We can be on duty full-time, and results are guaranteed:
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
Just as all forms of precipitation water the earth, God’s Word will precipitate and propagate His Kingdom in the earth. Prayer functions as a midwife to birth heaven on earth. What an exciting calling — to pray!
Here are some personal meditations on prayer from our team:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6
May I ever keep this word before me because of my tendency to be anxious. Thank God, HE says “No!” to anxiety!
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
Thanks be to God that Jesus has imparted to me HIS righteousness; therefore, if I pray fervently, my prayers WILL avail much!
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25
May God’s GREAT GRACE enable me to always walk in forgiveness!
“Now this is the confidence that we have in HIm, that if we ask anything according to HIs will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
Oh, that I might ever seek to pray only His will!
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
This Scripture can be prayed, not only for our children, but also for adults who were trained to believe but who perhaps didn’t ever grow in their faith or who have strayed. Speak to the holy Seed of Truth that has been planted in those that have heard the Word at any point in their lives, and ask God to cause it to grow, flourish, and produce fruit!
What a privilege we have as God’s children, to participate in His work through prayer. Prayer is something we can do anytime, anywhere. It can be silent or out loud. It can be in our own words or directly from Scripture. His promises are sure. His Word will be established, and His plans will prevail.
Prayer is the process of getting to know HIM, partnering with the Holy Spirit, and proclaiming who our Father truly is. Let Him birth His Presence in you today. Watch and pray! Let’s start talking!