Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Blue Bandanna Handkerchief

This morning I attended my first day of my very first (ever) Bible Study. I was so excited. Finally! A Bible Study on my day off. The Bible Study is The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian. It was everything and more I could hope for. I did not count each person but I think there must be close to a 100 women in this video curriculum class. Today was the introduction and I came away so full.

Since the class is so large, we broke into groups and each group has a facilitator. God put me with the perfect woman. I had never seen her before. Her name is Kathy. She has the most wonderful countenance and I was drawn to her from across the room. I knew immediately that she was a powerful woman of God and I just had to get next to her. I just had to touch her. I had to look into her eyes. She is the kind of woman you want to just hold in your arms and squeeze her until some of her rubs off on you. I felt the Holy Spirit all over her and all around her. I could see illumination around her. When she called my name to sit at her table I knew God was doing something awesome for me.

This Bible Study is about praying. From the moment I heard about it, I knew I had to be part of it. I began to meditate on times in my life that prayer was what I knew sustained me and prayer was what changed the situation. The times when I knew I spoke to the mountain and the mountain crumbled.

We sat at our table - a table of 8. Kathy began to talk with us and ask us questions. She asked "Who taught you how to pray? What is something significant about how you learned to pray?". I spoke up.

It was a blue bandanna handkerchief. My first memory of the blue bandanna handkerchief was at the age of maybe 4 or 5. My daddy, who was not living for the Lord and had some difficult situations in his life, was at work. My mother called us 3 little children into the den. She was holding Daddy's blue bandanna handkerchief by one corner. She asked each of us to kneel. She instructed Steve to take one corner, Lisa to take the other corner, and I (the baby) was to take the last corner. That day (and many more followed) my Mother taught me how to pray for my Daddy. We each held a corner and we prayed for Daddy's salvation. We prayed for Daddy's healing. Mother would then take the blue bandanna handkerchief, fold it neatly and replace it in his drawer. The next day, Daddy would take out the blue bandanna handkerchief, put it in his pocket and would go to work at the railroad. Each time he wiped the sweat from his brow, he was wiping with a blue bandanna handkerchief that had been bathed in prayer by the ones he loved the most -- by the ones who loved him most.

I guess God knew that would come up today. Yesterday would have been his 77th birthday. On my way to Bible Study this morning I drove by the cemetery to tell him Happy Birthday and tell him I wish he was still here. I miss him so much.

As I passed the cemetery coming home I thought, prayer really does work. Daddy's grave is there but Daddy's not there. We prayed him into heaven.

I learned something today -- or maybe I already knew it. It is much easier to pray for someone else's needs than your own. As the video portion came to its' conclusion, Stormie Omartian lead us in a prayer that is in our workbook for us to read aloud. I will share it with you. You may be like me, I learned how to pray for my Daddy and for others. I struggle with praying for myself.

Lord, I look to You for everything I need. I put all my expectations in only You. I repent of times when I expected other people and other things to meet my needs. I now look to You. In You I have everything I need. You sent Your Holy Spirit so I could live in power. Help me to do that. Enable me to do what You want me to do. Open the doors that I should walk through. Close the doors that are not Your will for me. Help me to know Your Word and to become powerful in prayer so that I can make a difference in the world around me, so that I can become all that You created me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Whatsoever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
Matthew 21:22