Precious Prayer from my Backseat Angel

submitted for St. Paul UMC newsletter
originally written March 2007

...pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
-James 5:16 -

My usual chauffeuring schedule back in 2007 included taking our third son, Ian, to his high school around 7:30A.M. while I left Isabella at home with our eldest son, Phil, who did not normally leave for school until later in the day.  As soon as I got home from taking Ian, I prepared Isabella for school and then I took her around 8:30A.M.  But on Thursdays, during the spring quarter of 2007, Phil left for school before 8A.M. requiring that Isabella come with me when I took Ian to school.  Then we returned home to prepare before I drove her to school.  Isabella used to get a little car sick this early in the morning.  When we got home on this particular Thursday, she said: "I don't feel very well, Mommy."  I paused and said: "Let me pray over you."  And I prayed a brief prayer of healing for her.  Shortly after my prayer she said: "Mommy I'm feeling so much better.  Thanks for the prayer."  So off we went to school.

I went about my day and met with my new friend, Tessie, who came with me to my 9:30A.M, dance class.  Then we had a blessed fellowship over coffee.  Not long after that, it was time for me to pick Ian up from "minimum day".  Then Phil arrived home after his first class, since his next class was not until 3pm.  We had a wonderful mother/son bonding time over lunch at Yanagi Sushi.  Then I cleaned the house for a bit, and before I knew it, it was time to pick Isabella up from school.  Time certainly flew especially my day had been fun and fruitful thus far.

During our drive from school to home, Isabella and I normally talked about her day while we enjoyed the beautiful view of Pismo Beach.  Many times the awesome view made us pause in silence allowing us to absorb and savor the beauty of nature.  In our short moment of silence, I inadvertently uttered out loud to myself: "I'm not feeling very well."  Isabella's precious voice from the backseat: "You just need prayer, Mommy, and you'll feel much better.  Let me prayer: Dear God, please let my Mommy feel better, she's the most wonderful Mommy.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

Needless to say, I felt heavenly after my precious backseat angel's prayer.

My soul, overpowered with a sense of spiritual ecstasy,
seemed to have soared to heaven
to give an ever so tight embrace
to the One who makes all things possible
for bestowing heavenly moments such as this
for His unfathomable sovereignty, goodness, and mercy.

Battlefield of the Mind and Prayer

(submitted for St. Paul UMC February 2013 Newsletter)

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer is our small group's first study for the year 2013. Though I've read the book in bits and pieces, and even had the privilege of attending Joyce Meyer's live teaching on the topic last September, I'm still excited to learn more and re-learn or be reminded of ways we can fight the “battle” in our mind. I believe that we all need constant reminders that we are in a daily spiritual battle but we have weapons that we can use against our enemy, one of which is prayer.

Ever since I came to know Christ, I am very joyful and thankful to declare that my life has taken the path of joy and peace. But that is not to say that I don't have moments when negative thinking gets the best of me. But through prayer and the study of His Word, I am able to snap out of my negative thinking quicker and quicker as I get to know Christ more and more.

As Joyce Meyer often says, I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be. I believe that this is a wonderful affirmation to remember as we begin the new year. With that said, I thought I'd write down three major changes or transformations Christ has done in my life.

  1. I am not as easily offended. If I do get offended, by the grace of God, I am able to somehow quickly move past the offense, remembering Christ's words: “forgive them for they know not what they do”.
  2. I am less judgmental. The cross made me realize that ALL have fallen short of the glory of God. We all have our own weaknesses and struggles and only God can change other people, not us.
  3. Prayer has become a major part of my daily life. Sometimes I think prayer is just all I could do in moments when I can't really do anything. But the truth is, prayer is the best thing we could do especially in those moments. Prior to my personal relationship with Christ, I wouldn't think of prayer as my first response. If anything, it was my last resort. And let alone praying for other people! But these days, I am happy to say that I even learned, and now enjoy, praying even for strangers.

I have learned to use any and all available “empty” time. In our study of Battlefield of the Mind, I learned that we have to consciously choose what we think about. Otherwise the enemy will fill our passive minds with negative stuff. “Empty” time for me is while waiting, cleaning, or sometimes driving. My daughter, Isabella, is the one who actually showed me that I could pray for strangers while driving, when one commute day to ballet she pointed out a car pulled to the side of the road and said out loud: “I hope that person is ok.” Ever since then, we offer a quick prayer whenever we see someone pulled to the side of the road.

As for free time while waiting for Isabella's ballet class to end, I have learned to observe and look for any prayer need. Sometimes it's someone trying to parallel park on a busy street. I pray for both the one trying to park and patience for the one waiting. Sometimes it's a parent having a hard time with a misbehaving child. Other times it's a motorist getting a citation, or worse, getting towed. The list can go on and on. And before I know it, Isabella's class is over. I have found that praying is the best way to make use of my empty time and the best way to fill my thoughts with good stuff thereby coming out victorious in my own “battlefield of the mind”.