Janet’s heart for prayer for women worldwide, as revealed in this excerpt from her newly released book, deeply moved me. I know it will touch your heart, too.
Note: This blog post is a bonus devotion celebrating the launch of Janet Hines’ new book Between the Valley and the Mountaintop: Glimpses of God in the Middle Places
A Woman’s Heart
by Janet Hines
In the midst of the group we have been with for three days, we are praying.
Me – the white woman from the other side of the world standing in a room as the fans blow, horns blow and the occasional dog barks, we stand.
We the visitors have been asked to pray individually with the women, the men on the team with the men, according to custom.
They line up. Heads bowed and covered. Hands folded as they whisper “Jai Masih Ki.” Hail to Christ.
Some, unable to make eye contact, sniffle in an attempt to stop the tears with no success. Mine flow freely.
Prayer Transcends Language
Sometimes they touch their little child with them. Some, their empty womb. One is a new widow with three daughters. I only know that because one woman whispered “widow” and “three daughters” in English. Today there are no translators just an occasional word of English.
She weeps. I can feel her heart beat as I wrap my arms around her and she holds me tightly.
“Lord, come close. Let Your arms take the place of mine. Please Lord replace her hopelessness with hopefulness. Your hope, Lord. Please fill her heart with Your light and let her become a beacon in the world around her.
Let her testimony grow strong as she becomes more and more aware of Your presence in her life. Place a hedge of protection around each of these women and their hearts, Lord. You created a woman’s heart to expand with the ability to love in ways we never knew possible. Thank You for that Lord. Use us. Grow us. Come close Lord.
Our women hearts are full this morning in this place. I am humbled. My eyes fill with tears as my heart opens to feel their pains and sorrows and to pass them on to You Lord.
Please show up in big ways in the lives of these precious treasures in the women I meet here.
Thank You, Lord for the abundance of love You have for us. We praise You, Lord. Amen.”
Prayer is For All
As I spoke the final “amen” for the last woman, I glanced down. There stood a young boy of seven. We had become friends. He looked expectantly into my eyes and I held him close and prayed.
“Lord, bring a hedge of protection around this young one. Let him grow in relationship with You. Grow him strong and use him in kingdom work to Your glory. Amen.”
And this verse comes to mind.
“Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be terrified because of them. The Lord your God will go with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you.”Deuteronomy 31:6
God Wipes Every Tear
My tears freely flowed. As everyone returned to their groups, I sat and cried tears of gratitude for the avenue of prayer and our big God who hears every word and wipes every tear.
Our assurance of this is clearly stated in Revelation.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:4
His love is evident by His actions.
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
I am reminded God’s love is bigger than any thing our women’s hearts can bring to Him.
Every broken piece and every person who lives in our hearts comes to God when we come to Him for healing.
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. “Jeremiah 17:14
Cultivate a Heart for Prayer
It wasn’t long until we all were gathered together on the floor laughing.
The young man in the front is the one I became friends with. He is seven.
We don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to meet and pray with the hurting.
Our lives are full of people we encounter every day who need a hug and someone to hold them while they cry and to pray to our God who hears.
The challenge is getting out of our own way and to have the courage to ask if they would like us to pray for them. It’s harder for me here at home than it is “over there”. But I am making a more conscious effort by asking God to show me the people I encounter who need Him in their lives right now.
“Lord, use each and every one of us every day to spread Your love to the hurting people in the world around us. Remind us that Your power brings the courage we need to get out of our own way, lay down our pride or embarrassment that might be uncomfortable for us and become Your bold and courageous servants. Use us Lord. Amen.”
Janet Hines is a photographer and author on a journey of restoration and learning to be grateful for brokenness. Through photography, travel experiences and writing, she brings together pieces of life in ways that connect with the hurting people who need to know they are not alone. Her heart’s desire is to build a community of hope through sharing Christ all of her days. Connect with Janet at janethines.com and order her new book through Amazon.