Thursday I had the amazing privilege of meeting up with some phenomenal women.
I am on the city team for an upcoming event here in July, an event that will bring in Living Proof Live with Beth Moore, as well as thousands of women. I adore Beth Moore (could totally be a groupie if pressed), and have seen God do amazing things in my life through her studies. I’m honored to even be in the same room as these women and have no doubt that God is going to move powerfully through this event next month.
Thursday was our day to head over to the Denver Coliseum and pray. When we arrived our plan was very simple: walk and pray. Our intent was to walk the circumference of the Coliseum, to go inside and walk the hallways, walk the floor, walk through each row, by each seat…and pray.
As women began to arrive, many of us didn’t know each other, some arrived with friends, some alone. We stood together for a few moments, gathered there with some uncertainty, maybe some awkwardness, about what we would do or what might happen. We began with a quiet prayer and then…then we began to walk.
We walked first around the outside of the building, praying. Prayers were quiet at first, kept to ourselves. But with every step taken, we gained poise and purpose as women began to speak, prayers offered aloud, offered for those that would come to this place. Our prayers began to strengthen, in clarity and in volume. Each step brought a bolstered determination to ask God to meet us there, to fill that arena with His powerful presence.
Our prayers turned to the women who would come, those that desperately needed to know the love of Jesus. We walked onto the floor of the Coliseum and began to pour out our hearts before the Lord for those that would be there…women who needed freedom, mothers who needed hope, daughters who needed redemption. We placed our hands on seat backs and arm rests, asking for God’s Spirit to rest on the woman in that chair. We prayed for families and generations to be impacted, even those yet to be born, that lives would be eternally changed because God had met them so powerfully in that place.
At the end, we all gathered back together on the floor of the arena and offered one last prayer and song of praise in the mighty name of Jesus. And as we left, all awkwardness had been replaced with a confidence and a knowing that God had been with us and that He was on the move in a mighty way.
From awkward to confident. All because we walked.
What if we did that this week?
We are in our third week of our study on The Gift of Grace, looking specifically this week into what it means to Extend His Grace. If you missed that post, here it is.
We are wrapping each week with an intentional walk, a time of sacred space with the Lord, allowing us to slow down and breathe in His grace. I’ve heard from women who have walked through their neighborhoods, through great parks and others who have ventured out onto mountain trails. Beautiful places. This week, though, I’m asking you to change it up. Completely.
This week I’m asking you to walk your tough places.
This week I’m going to challenge you to take this lesson in Extending Grace to the very place where it’s the most difficult.
Maybe it’s your home. Or your job. Maybe it’s your parent’s house. Or that family reunion you’re heading to.
Why in the world? Because if we really want to do this whole thing of extending grace to those around us, it can’t come from us just trying harder to be nice. It has to be more than just putting on a smile and keeping our emotions in tact. The truest way to extend grace begins when our hearts are completely saturated by His Spirit through intentional prayer, asking for and seeking His grace on behalf of those around us. Those who are the most difficult, in the most difficult places.
Where is that for you? Some of you live in homes that are filled with pain and searing words. Some of you have children that are living in darkness. Your marriage may be in shambles. Your work environment may be horribly oppressive and demeaning. Maybe it’s your in-laws home, or your sister’s place. Maybe you’re a mama in the middle of doing your absolute best to raise these little ones up to be warriors.
I’m challenging you to walk that tough place:
Walk the circumference – walk the exterior of your home, your workplace, wherever, and circle it in prayers of intentionality, asking for God to surround it with His presence and power. Open the gates and surround your property. If you live in an apartment complex, walk around it. If it’s not your home, you may have to get creative (not illegal, just creative). Go out and water the flowers at your in-laws, or ask to see their new siding. Take the garbage out at work, or tell your co-workers you’re taking your lunch outside. Circle your tough place in prayer.
Walk the floors – go inside and walk every open space. Walk the hallways and speak out prayers of intercession on behalf of those who also occupy that space. Walk into bedrooms and pray for God’s presence to be strong and known. Pray over the spaces of your home, bedsides, kitchen tables, family rooms. Walk by offices, work spaces, cafeterias.
As you begin, you may feel unsure, awkward. But step out anyway.
As our group circled the Coliseum I remembered the story of Joshua and his friends as they circled the walls of Jericho, walking and praying as God had instructed them. They had to feel really foolish at first, don’t you think? Just a walk? They had to wonder why they couldn’t just have a consuming battle plan or a miraculous supply of flaming arrows. Instead, God asked them to walk. Walk and believe that their enemy would be defeated and the walls would come tumbling down.
Maybe it will feel strange to walk around your tough place. Maybe the neighbors will think you are crazy. Maybe your co-workers will cast judgment. Walk anyway.
Walk and pray specifically. Pray for specific requests, approaching the throne of God with boldness. Pray specific prayers so you can then watch for specific answers. Sometimes when our prayers are so vague, we have no way of knowing if God indeed answers them.
Pray specific scriptures over your family and friends. Take our verses from last week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Pour over this passage and put in your child’s name, your husband’s or your family member. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve knelt in prayer with this passage on behalf of my family and friends.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen ________ with power through His Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in (his/her) heart through faith. And I pray that _______, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that ________ may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 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, for ever and ever! Amen.
Take verses from our time in Ephesians, or find your own that may be better suited to your situation. Try this great website, www.openbible.info, an incredible resource for researching what the Bible says about specific issues, including fear, confidence and grace.
Take time this weekend to walk through your tough places. Then watch and see what walls come down as His grace pours out.
If you missed this week’s post on Grace Extended, you can find it here.
For additional encouragement and community throughout the week, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/womenwhobelieve.
Invite your friends to join us, from across the street or across the world. Let’s live and breathe His grace together!