Congrats to the winner of last weekend’s giveaway: Kerri Vail please send your home address to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with what you won, so we can get your prize out to you!
I have been eyeball deep in trying to finish the manuscript for my new book which is leaving me less time to blog. So, I will be asking a few friends to guest post for me over the next four weeks to give me a little wiggle room (and to keep me from being constantly at my computer!)
Today I’ve asked my cyber friend Lee Merrill to tel you about her prayer text ministry. I get these each day and they often are just what I need to hear!
Lee Merrill has lots of names. She’s “Sweetie” to Cliff, her husband of 21 years. She’s “Mom” to sons, Garrett (17), Logan (15), and Jacob (12). She’s “Mrs. Merrill” to junior high special education students.
But her favorite title is LeeBird, daughter of the King seeking to fly free in the freedom only a relationship with Christ brings. Visit her over at her blog, PrayerGifts (http://prayergifts.blogspot.com) and on Twitter (@LeeBirdFree)
My Blackberry is on its last leg. The paint is chipped, and some of the keys need a little extra “encouragement” to produce their assigned characters. While I do send out my share of LOL’s and OMG’s to my buddies, my Blackberry is an important ministry tool.
About five years ago, a teacher friend lost her husband to a heart attack. Suddenly, she was a 48-year-old widow with two school-aged children to raise alone.
I asked God to show me a way to gently point her to Christ in the midst of her grief. Prayer texts were born. Each morning, I sent her a short scripture prayer via text message. Prayers of hope. Prayers of comfort. Prayers about the heart of Jesus holding her heart.
Pretty soon, my friend started telling other teacher pals about the little prayers I was sending. I still grin when I think of one teacher pal pouting, “Christine gets prayers…how come I don’t get prayers?”
Within a couple months, my prayer text “subscription” list grew to 20, then 50, then 125. Today, I have close to 200 people on my prayer text list: family, church friends, colleagues, and a few friends of friends.
Half of my prayer text pals don’t know Jesus. My little prayers are the only taste of Christ some of them receive. The “pouty” pal I mentioned earlier wants nothing to do with church, the Bible, or anything “religious,” but if I happen to miss a prayer text, she’s quick to fuss at me about it. I’m amazed at how often people text me back and say, “Were you reading my mind this morning? That’s just what I needed. Thank you!”
So, what exactly do these prayer texts look like?
- Some are inspired by nature. When we get a rare and much-needed rain here in Arizona, the prayer text would look something like this: Lord, just as rain refreshes an arid land, Your grace rains mercy on a hardened heart.
- Some are inspired by pain. When I was in the middle of grieving my brother’s death, many of my prayer texts looked something like this: Lord, I’m so thankful that when my heart aches, Your hands are a soft resting place.
- Some are inspired by the news. When the earthquake wreaked havoc on Japan, I sent out something like this: Lord, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
- All are inspired by the character and word of God. Just last week, I sent out this: Lord, I marvel at the mystery of You. You are the God of all creation with the whole universe in Your hand, yet You desire one-on-one heart time with each of us.
There’s nothing magical about my prayer texts. I’m not some kind of prayer prodigy who specializes in prayers with 140 characters or less. Anyone with a heart for prayer and a cell phone can send out prayer texts. I challenge you to give prayer texting a try. Then, watch and see how God uses you to point others to the One who truly has their number: Jesus.