What Happened When...I Took Seriously the Command to Pray by Sherri Anfinson

About 20 years ago, at a Woman of Faith Conference, the Holy Spirit sparked in me the importance and strong conviction to pray.  Some of you ladies from my generation may remember Becky Tirabassi.  She was known for her series called “Let Prayer Change Your Life.” Although her testimony of faithfulness to committed prayer far exceeds my obedience to the same, her sharing has and continues to call me to regular quiet times with the Lord that always produce fruit, in His perfect timing.

As I reflect back on how God has shown His love and faithfulness  through my prayer times, I am realizing that although I often see Him as saying yes, no, or wait to my prayers, more often it is the Holy Spirit’s work in me during my quiet time that results in ME responding “Yes” to God’s leading.  

He has called me to say YES to: obedience to service, submission to my husband, transparency with praying friends, admitting when I fail and accepting His grace, giving Him the glory for successes, regular confession and turning from sin, praying for others, sharing the gospel, sending a note, making a call/meal, inviting people to church/Bible study, loving when it’s hard, dying to self, being more humble/gracious, being flexible with my schedule/time, forgiving others, seeking forgiveness , releasing my children to His plan not mine, trusting Him when He shakes up my world to look different than I had envisioned and to stay the course, instead of losing faith.

Disclaimer.  It is a continual process.  It is not a one time and always YES on my part, as those close to me will unfortunately attest.  Prayer and responding “yes” to Jesus, is a lifelong, daily, minute by minute journey.

His plans are so GOOD, but not always easy.  You remember the saying “Be careful what you ask for!”   Often there were sacrifices and unforeseen spiritual battles that followed my “yes” responses to God.  Knowing that each “yes” had been prayed over and seeing His hand of detail in them has enlarged my faith and my ability to relate and encourage others in their trials. Despite the negatives, seeing God use all He asks us to do for our good and His glory has been the sweetest part of making prayer a priority for my family and for others.  Prayer makes a huge difference! I love to encourage others with the gospel truth-the #1 prayer- receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is naturally followed by the need for continual prayer for the Holy Spirit’s power to submit to His Lordship.  The beautiful result is getting to experience His transforming powers in our personal lives and the world around us.

More recently, after serving 4 years as a high school small group leader, and a mother of 4 teens, the utter awareness of the spiritual battles this generation faces became VERY REAL.  In January, God prompted me  to gather people to pray for our church, family, and children/youth on Wednesday nights to fight the battle in the spiritual realm.  Truth be told, He called me in August, and I finally obeyed in January.  The sweetest part is that He wasn’t just working on my heart, but He was working on another mom’s heart as well, who along with several other women and a dad have  come to pray for YOU and your family, church, schools, and country on Wednesday nights, over the past several months. The battle is real and our victory is found in calling on the name and power of Jesus Christ.

I look forward to what God will do at and through Valley Church, as we meet and pray.  Acts 12:6 “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”  Do you have a son, daughter, parent, situation, marriage, or other relationship that needs to be released from “prison” like Peter?  If we are honest with each other, we all do!  You are not alone.  Come and let us earnestly pray to God and see many people and situations set free.  May it be said of Valley Church women, Acts 12:24 “He (She) was a good man (woman), full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

What does your prayer time look like?  Do you have a desire to pray, but aren’t sure how it “should” look?  Do you see God answering your prayers?  Do you fear praying with others? Do you need to be encouraged to pray more regularly?

God is still prompting; this time it is to share a DVD series similar to what shaped my prayer life 20 years ago, and has impacted sweet praying friends from my Life Group.  We are offering  an opportunity to all women of Valley Church to participate in something very special on Wednesday mornings this summer.

PRAYER TIME: June 15-July 27th (7 weeks) from 11 a.m.-noon in Room C-2, we will be praying for our church, families, marriages, country, etc.  Please come even if you are not comfortable praying out loud.  I’ve been there. Public prayer time is now some of the sweetest and most powerful fellowship I experience.  It will be a safe place to listen, learn, and talk to God with others.  

PRAYER BIBLE STUDY PLUS PRAYER TIME: June 22-July 20th (5 weeks) from 10—12pm, in addition to the time of prayer a Bible Study on Prayer is being offered.  We will meet in room C-2.  This study is written by author Becky Tirabassi.  We will watch her DVD series called “Let Prayer Change Your Life.”  Come and be blessed and encouraged in your prayer life and...experience the power of prayer. There will be no workbook or homework, but hopefully you will be impassioned to pray more.  We will watch the video from 10-11am and then have the time of prayer from 11am-12pm.  Child Care will be available in Room C-3 for these 5 weeks from 10-noon for the study.  Let me know if you are in need of childcare and the child’s age/s. Email me at sherrianfinson@juno.com.

Peace in life comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and is solidified as we submit ourselves to Him through prayer, confession, and being in His Word. Come and be spurred on to seek, listen, and obey.  Don’t miss out.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.”  

 Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”                                                                                                                                                    
Come and we will ask to together!  He will answer abundantly!  And we will give HIM all the Glory! to together!  He will answer abundantly!  And we will give HIM all the Glory!

Please note that the study and prayer time meets during the same time as the Valley Summer Youth program, Wednesday, 11am-12pm.  This is a great time for you moms to connect with other Valley women – consider joining us after your drop your son or daughter off.

 

 

 

Sherri and her family have attended Valley Church since 1999.  Whether Sherri is working with adults, youth or children she always has a great passion for serving others and for prayer.