Jesus prayed, “I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)
In this one verse, Jesus gives the reason for prayer and the purpose of the kingdom: so that we know that Jesus is in us and we are in him, that we may be completely one, that the world will know that Jesus was sent by God for our salvation and that God loves us. John 17:26 makes clear that Jesus is praying that the love of God will also be in us.
Women are multi-taskers, on the move with much on our minds. We are also gatherers. God has given women a unique love of getting together, enjoying friendships and coffee. Some of us began 2020 running full speed, with some confiding that they were thinking, “Stop the world, I want to get off.”
Then a worldwide pandemic hits, leaving us no choice but to stop our busyness. Only places deemed as “essential” were open, with restrictions. Life has changed, but God is still moving. His people have not stopped praying. God has always moved through the prayers of his people. In the wake of the pandemic, God stirred the hearts of women to draw them together in prayer.
However, the Holy Spirit had been calling us to prayer before COVID-19. He was getting us ready. In January, I knew of many women who were fasting and praying, excited about what God was going to do in 2020. There were concerted efforts to bring people together in prayer to our almighty God.
One prayer organization, She Loves Out Loud, had a prayer meeting where women gathered from their cities to pray virtually with others around the globe. In Austin, we met at Hyde Park Baptist Church. Prayer topics were: overcoming anxiety and depression, choosing life and forgiveness, healing of abuse and trauma, prayer for military wives, healing of marriage betrayal and porn addiction and praying for our children and the next generation. One of the topics was race relations. Bernetta McClendon and I were privileged to lead that prayer, asking God to change our hearts, our nation and our world.
We added prayer stations to our prayer efforts at the SBTC 2020
Empower Conference. Richard Taylor, interim director of evangelism, had successfully used those in a previous assignment. Young women came to the prayer stations to request prayers for family members suffering from depression, needing the ability to forgive and have a relationship with an absentee father, for ministry expansion and also wanting to have a relationship with Jesus. Praying for families and for the lost to know Christ is relevant throughout all cultures.
One woman asked for prayer for her church, for her son who needed Jesus and for our nation. Her prayer needs embodied what we are praying for as prayer warriors in the SBTC—praying for the lost that God has put on our hearts and praying for our families.
In unusual discernment for February, one woman asked for prayer for those with the coronavirus and a cure. We did not know what we would be facing in just a couple of weeks, but God was preparing us by leading us to pray the tough prayers and to face the tough topics.
Yes, God had been preparing us “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Many women had already begun gathering for prayer by phone, emails, text, conference calling and WhatsApp. Now they have added Zoom, Marco Polo, FaceTime and other meeting platforms. God is using the technology we already have and women are praying together in creative ways during this pandemic. If you talk to someone who was a missionary 50 years ago, you will realize how wonderful it is today that we can connect with women from all over the world! We may not be able to gather in person, but we can still grab our Bible and a cup of home-brewed coffee or tea, and gather for a virtual prayer meeting. Make no mistake, prayer is happening!
The women I’ve spoken to recently are not talking about how much they’re doing, moving, shaking up, or about the treadmill they’re on. Instead, I’m hearing from women who are sensing God’s presence during this time who, while they wouldn’t have chosen it, are thankful for being able to slow down and see God move in astonishing ways. Our focus has shifted, and we are seeing God calling us to “turn our eyes upon Jesus, and look full in his wonderful face.”
If we will listen, God will teach us to truly love him with all our hearts, minds and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Ted Elmore explains this well in his blog post on tedelmore.org, “Repentance, Fruit and George Floyd.”
There is much talk about the confusion and chaos among governments and people around the world. David Ireland, author of Raising a Child Who Prays, says that Christianity is a warship, not a cruise ship. We are not here on earth to be entertained, but to pray to the Lord of heaven’s armies as we battle the enemy of our souls.
Prayer acknowledges that we look to someone besides ourselves. God often lays concerns on the hearts of women that he wants them to pray for, and as we pray, God works! We are not looking to ourselves or anyone else for answers, but to God, the author and finisher of our faith!
We keep hearing the word “unprecedented.” It seems to be the key word used by talking heads in 2020. One thing we know—God is using women to pray together like never before. As women, let’s have an unprecedented time of gathering for prayer with our sisters all over Texas, and all over the globe. Let’s come together as women and pray!
Share with us ways that you and your friends are gathering for prayer, and things you are praying about. Share what is going on in your area of Texas, with women that you pray with, or perhaps you have seen answers to prayer that you would like to share. We serve a mighty God; let’s give him the glory!
Psalm 65:2 says that God is the one who hears prayer.
If you would like to get involved with other praying women, contact us at the SBTC. Let’s pray! sbtexas.com/women.
These are some of the things that women are praying about and are doing in prayer:
- Praying for church plants, that people who have never heard the gospel would hear it now
- Setting up prayer stations to pray for and witness to people in a neighborhood, around a church, or at another public area
- Walking and praying in your neighborhood
Walking and praying around your church