Editor’s Note: Beginning this Thursday, UFC Women will begin Abiding, a short study of several Old and New Testament women who had encounters with God through prayer and with Jesus in personal interactions. We encourage you to sit long with John 15:1-11 in preparation for our time together in-person and on Zoom this Thursday at our regular group times. If you weren’t part of the October study but want join us for the first three Thursdays of November, please register here. Andi Hines will provide the voice behind most of the Abiding blog posts and Scripture recordings, while Jamie Harms will be teaching each Thursday. We’re excited to see how God continues to root us in His Word together!
By Andi Hines
We all have times when we feel far from God. Life gets crazy, we get overwhelmed and tired, and before we know it, days or maybe weeks have gone by without connecting with God. However, the most powerful thing we can do for ourselves is to find that time. In quiet moments with God, coming with a still heart, with our masking of emotions set aside, we will find the strength and peace we need.
Everything in our life, our marriage, our philosophy on child rearing, our job performance, and even our satisfaction with ourselves flow from our time spent with God. From relationship with Him, we receive strength to endure and experience a peace that abides under all challenges.
Maybe you have enjoyed a sustained time of profound nearness with God. Your spirit felt enlarged. Your wisdom expanded. Your spiritual awareness of His presence became so well honed that you knew He was near. Then something happened. Everything went sideways as circumstances appeared insurmountable. Thoughts of desperation surrounded you, and your energy drained. In such situations, this is the time to sit down and be in prayer, speaking to God but especially listening. But why is this so hard for us?
Our instinct is to avoid sitting still, for we are part of an action-based culture. Our natural response to a challenge is to do something to fix it! We reject an activity that seems as passive as prayer as the discipline feels like we’re doing nothing — and doing nothing is not our plan.
But here’s the truth about prayer. Prayer is calling on God. Prayer can shake the foundations of heaven and bring God’s tremendous power to work out our needs, or those of others. It’s the equivalent of immediately going to the Supreme Court. Only in this Supreme Court, the Judge is wholly righteous and on our side always, working for the best in our lives. Taking the issue to this Judge in prayer is our first — and best — action. It is addressing all our problems head-on.
Prayer and time are essential to the growth of our relationships with God, and in the next few weeks, we hope you’ll join us for encouragement, times of sharing, and growth together in the practice of prayer as we embark on the study Abiding.
Father, prepare my heart for the coming weeks of study. Allow me to open myself to You. Allow me to grow. Allow me to see You with new eyes and hear Your words to me with new clarity. God, help me become the woman You see in me. Amen.