Thursday, October 7, 2010
Paul's Thorn in the Flesh - My Prayer Request
"Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong." II Corinthians 12:7-10
I don't often use my blog for prayer requests. Bottom line, I am not comfortable making this about me at all. I honestly desire that my musings be directed at the One who took my place. But I'm breaking one of my rules this afternoon, because His Word has been ringing in my ears and I want to share this with you.
I love how Paul points to his thorn in the flesh and declares - twice - that it's there to keep him from exalting himself.
Speaking at a women's conference can be a prideful thing. I have spoken locally and around the world and I have to admit, I really have nothing to share, if not for the goodness of God. There is nothing in me that would draw a crowd, save His love and the heart to encourage sisters in their walk.
That being said, the Lord actively desires that I walk in humility. When I attempt to teach in my own strength, it will always turn disastrous. But when I recognize my weaknesses, it is then that He is strong.
Well, friends...I'm pretty weak right now. I rarely get sick but when I do, it's usually when I can't afford it. Now, I've got this sinus/throat/headache thing that most of you have had and I'm really not feeling sorry for myself because I know this will pass.
The problem is that tomorrow morning I need to get on a flight to Montana to speak at a women's conference on Saturday. I feel sorry for those gals because at the moment they are not getting a very pretty package from Western Michigan. But all day I have heard the words, "I am well content with weaknesses...for when I am weak, then I am strong." So, truth be known, I'm actually excited for this weekend, because in my weakness, God will show up in a big way. He will make it so much more about Him, because His message will come from one who is weak.
So, here are my prayer requests for the weekend - please pray for the women who are coming to the conference. Pray that they would hear from the Lord and be able to see past His mouthpiece. Pray that their hearts would be moved to change as they draw closer to the Lord and enlarge their understanding of Him. Thank Him for continually reminding me that His power is perfected in my weakness and for His humbling grace that will allow me, in a lesser state, to impart truth from His Word, all for His glory. And pray for Carolyn, who is traveling with me to lead worship for the conference - an added blessing in a travel companion!
Dave has told me that he wants us to plan less and pray more. So I'm asking you to help me with this, and I fully expect to have a wonderful story of God's grace and sense of humor when I return home.