The Power of Prayer

Before this trip, I was wrestling over the importance of prayer. I continuously used the excuse that God already knew my heart and my thoughts so I didn’t need to take the intentional time to pray often, but really it was an issue of laziness. 

But I got a nice wake up call as soon as I stepped foot in Nepal. Within a few hours of landing, we were walking around a stupa (temple) interceding for the people with prayer. The plan was to walk around and pray for an hour, but I was out of thoughts without the first ten minutes (I later realized that that was one of my problems, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than my own thoughts), so I asked one of my team leaders to pray out loud so I could get some inspiration. What I found is that she was using her surroundings to feed her prayers. For example, she would see a mother worshiping and thank the Lord for her passion and diligence, but also that she would be unsettled and find the true source to turn that passion and diligence toward. She also talked about how she imagined little balls of light being left behind with each step we took. It was in that moment that I learned how important it was to mix the physical with the spiritual, and how important it is sometimes to walk while you pray or lay hands on the people you are praying for. There is something very powerful about it. In those moments the Lord can use us as vessels to transfer light into the darkness and you can almost physically feel it happening, there’s nothing like it. 

Since that day, we have gone on many prayer walks and hikes, and laid hands on dozens of people. It is now one of my very favorite things to do. There’s just something about feeling the darkness being lifted away by the light of our Savior.

That’s what makes it really hard for me to not be at home right now though. My family has continually asked for my prayer for my brother’s movie because there is a lot of spiritual warfare going on there, and I feel a tug at my heart to be present there. But I know if I never went on this trip, I wouldn’t have known how real spiritual warfare and how powerful prayer is, and therefore wouldn’t have been able to make a difference that way. The beautiful thing that I keep reminding myself is that prayer doesn’t have a distance barrier. I can be present there through my continual prayer. I can cast out darkness with the power of the Lord from the other side of the world. Isn’t that the coolest thing?! 

Laundry pt. 2

Haha jokes this blog is not actually about laundry, don’t worry nothing else scary happened with my clothes besides hand washing them and personally seeing how much dirt comes out. BUT I noticed that a lot of things have been happening similar to the laundry situation. As in, a lot of random things have happened, but I have realized that God had a very specific reason for each one. 

Okay dad get ready with your “I told you so” for this one. Here’s the back story for the rest of you. My super thoughtful father bought me a water bottle that filters water just in case I didn’t have access to clean water, but I tried to tell him I didn’t need it and didn’t have room for it. I did feel bad though because it was super thoughtful and I knew he just wanted me to be safe, so I made it fit in my bag. So I’ve been (cue exaggeration) lugging this water bottle around this whole time. BUT THEN. My teammate lost her water bottle, which is a big sad (you’re welcome Grace), so I have her my extra one!! This is such a small example that seems so insignificant, but God can use anything (can I get an amen?!). If I didn’t have that extra water bottle, my teammate would not have her own water for our long ministry hours, but the Lord had provided for her way before she knew she needed it.

Let me set the scene for this next one. It was a still morning, no sound could be heard besides the fan that was attempting to cool the near 100 degree air (and it was still morning). We were scattered around the room for quiet time, clinging to the Lord’s truth and the every so fleeting gusts of slightly less hot air. AND THEN. The power went out. I can not describe to you well enough the murderous looks on people’s faces as they slowly looked up to see the fan slowing to a stop. Trying to problem solve, I thought that there might be more of a breeze outside of our room. I hopped up and several of my teammates followed behind hoping I was right. You could say it was maybe one degree colder out there, but it was a big deal. We sat down next to some Nepali women that were already there. One of them was the pastor’s wife, who immediately began smiling and talking in Nepali. After trying to use hand signals for some time, our translator walked in and we were able to have a real conversation. She told us how thankful she was that we were here and that she thought of us as her own daughters. She apologized for not having mosquito nets and other things, but we assured her that we had more than enough (I mean it’s true, we’re taking real showers instead of bucket showers here and everything). I will never forget the smile on her face simply because some fans stopped turning.

This one’s for you mom. Every night we walk to a different believers house and have fellowship, where we share testimonies and short sermons. Last night I was going to do the sermon, and the Lord was prepared in such an amazing way. Usually when visiting homes here they give us soda and cookies, and I don’t have anything because I don’t like soda and cannot eat the cookies. BUT THIS TIME, I’m convinced the Lord was providing for me and pumping me up for my sermon because… wait for it… they brought out slices of cucumber!!!! Okay I know that seems boring, but I haven’t had a single vegetable all month and since my mom forces me to eat them every night (thanks mom) my body actually really missed them. Also, all the food is soft or mushy here, so they sound of the cucumber crunching was music to my ears. By the time my sermon came, I had eaten well over a whole cucumber and was so energized and excited that it poured out into my sermon. I can’t help but think the Lord knew what he was doing. Thanks Jesus!

It is evident that every single part of this trip has been perfectly laid out by God, but I just wanted to share some of the smaller examples because they often get overlooked and they are pretty cool 🙂 

The Rehab Center

The rehab center has been one of my very favorite places to visit for two reasons: Matti and Monica.

Matti, also known as Matthew, is one of our guides and translators during ministry that is in training. We immediately warmed up to him and began joking around with him as we traveled from place to place. Eventually, he was nicknamed “uncle” because he had truly become part of the family. But we knew nothing about him besides he was a joy to be around. Our team split up into smaller groups at the rehab center and my group was blessed to have Matti with us. We sat down with five of the men staying at the center and began to break the ice, and quite honestly it was hard to even do that. We weren’t sure what we were allowed to ask and felt that our stories didn’t relate to theirs. After many awkward moments of small talk surrounded by massive silence, Matti began to talk to them without us saying anything. I perked up, waiting for Matti to tell us what he had said or asked, hoping that it would spark a longer conversation, but Matti continued on and on in Nepali. After about ten minutes of dialogue between him and the other men, he finally turned and told me that he was sharing his story with them. He told me that he too was an addict while running with a bad crowd but had been sober for a couple of years now after finding the Lord. He said that they were asking him how he was able to stay sober because many of the men had relapsed, and Matti was able to explain that it was only possible with the Lord’s strength. Then he turned back and continued in Nepali and at that moment the Lord reminded me that his plan is perfect and I do not have to take control. See, I had been running through my mind trying to think of anything to say while the Lord was working on Matti’s heart to spark a very intentional conversation. And the thing is that Matti never would have had that opportunity if he was not taking us there. Sometimes God uses you as a gateway to use someone else. Sometimes you are the encourager rather than the one up front running the show. And that is a beautiful thing. You don’t have to worry how God is going to use you because he has it all worked out and it’s definitely the best way. 

Monica is an eighteen year old girl at the rehab center. By the time we met she had grown up a pastor’s daughter, gotten married to a nonbeliever, become an addict, been left by her husband, sent to jail, taken to the rehab center, and become a Christian. It was eye opening and heartbreaking to hear her story. She is my age and has gone through so much more than I could ever imagine. But her story is beautiful just like everyone else’s because she came running back to her Father, who embraces her tenderly. She is a prodigal returned (makes me think of my brother’s movie and how proud I am of him making his dreams a reality while daring to spread God’s love in such a dark field). Not only was I blessed by Monica’s story but also by the sweet time we spent with her. After hearing her story, we sang a worship song for her and then she sang one for us. We realized that we knew the song she was singing in Nepali and joined her in English. It was such a precious moment, listening as the languages mixed and lifted to the Lord in praise. It’s moments like those that Satan flees fuming with anger because there is nothing that can stop us from worshipping the Lord, we don’t care whether we know what each other are saying because it’s all beautiful praise. Those are some of my favorite moments. 

God shows up big when you surrender your plan for his. He is moving and he will use you to move if you are willing to surrender yourself completely. He makes beauty from the ashes.