Connection to the vine changes us and the way we pray.
Sometimes these prayers are answered in unexpected ways or at unanticipated times. I’d been praying through the Loving Your Neighbors prayer devotional with my Stonecroft team. While outside one morning, I was a bit surprised when her dog charged toward me. But this canine connection would become the beginning of a forming friendship with my neighbor, Linda. Since then, conversations with her and her family have increased as Peyton (my new dog) and I have taken walks in the neighborhood.
My prayer life has taken some dramatic turns lately. Don’t get me wrong; I am a firm believer that we should pray about everything – and I do! My daughter’s new job, my son’s college selection, and the future – yes to all of these! And, some new ones, too.
I am challenged by some of Paul’s prayers. He asks and thanks God for the increasing faith of the believers (1 Thessalonians 3:6-10). He prays that God will clear the way for him to strengthen their faith. And, he asks for prayer to proclaim Christ boldly as he sits in a dark prison (Ephesians 6:18-20).
What have you asked God for lately?
Have you asked Him to bring women into your life, women who are desperate for friendship, especially friendship with Jesus? Have you asked Him to clear the way for you to strengthen the believers’ faith as Paul exhorts? Have you asked Him to increase your love for Him and for those He loves?
God is leading me to pray boldly for open doors with my neighbors and for increasing love among believers. He is also leading me to ask Him to clear the way for opportunities to share my faith and to strengthen His people.
Show me an outreach Group who fervently prays, and there will be fruit. Show me Gospel-centered women, and there will be people around them who do not know the Lord. That is what happens when we remain in the vine. He adjusts our prayers and priorities. And, aren’t you glad He does?
Friendship is so important. We all need each other. But friendship with women who are far from God requires a different kind of love, for some of us, a new kind of love. This kind of love is birthed from remaining in the true vine. As we stay connected to the vine, He nourishes us, and brings forth fruit that is His kind of fruit. This is fruit that lasts. This is a harvest that is undeniably His.
Cheryl Lee Davis
Former Vice President of Women’s Connection