Author Archives: Janet Sketchley

OUR INSURANCE

Our Insurance

Janet Sketchley commented on last Friday’s post called God Never Runs Out:

“Thanks for this reminder, Jan! Thinking about some of the things we refill… I tend to use them sparingly, ration them so I don’t run out. Often that’s silly because it’s an easy thing to replace. Sometimes it’s a special thing in limited quantity, and I hold back from enjoying it because I don’t want it to be gone.

With God, how often do we do the same thing? He’s the one non-depletable resource, and He loves it when we jump right in.”

This week my thoughts are again on our Big God.

When we travel out-of-country we take out medical insurance. We never consider travelling without it. It covers us for medical expenses that might happen. We decide on the size of deductible that we feel comfortable with. Then we travel we the assurance we are covered.

This made me think about the coverage God gives us. I believe, because of Jesus, we have full coverage. Jesus paid the deductible so that we have freedom to learn, grow and ask for forgiveness to cleanse our souls.

Since we have such abundant coverage do we use it to the fullest extent? Are we requesting the desires of our hearts or are we holding back?

In all things we have to remember that God has us covered. The “policy” that we have taken in Christ says we are “under the cover of prayer”.

Something that health insurance won’t do is give you more than you ask for. For instance, they don’t cover my teeth in my policy. And my policy has a time restriction too.

But God will give us even MORE than we ask or could dream about. Priscilla Shirer suggests that we end our prayers with these words: “God, please do this or something better.” I like this as it opens the door wide open for God’s power and plans.

She writes:

“God made sunsets and sunrises. He exceeds all expectations. When you know your God is transcendent, that His ability and His truth go infinitely beyond you, then it causes you to pray differently. When you know who you’re dealing with, it changes how you relate to Him. It makes you believe for bigger things.” (Faithful, Abundant and True Bible Study, page 91)

And we read in the New Testament:

“And since God already knows what we need, He is eagerly waiting for us to ask for it. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better “(Matthew 7:9-11,The Message)?

Think of your longings – what do you really need? Now start talking to the One who can answer the desires of your heart.

Prayer:

Father, help us not to hold back on our requests. Help us to be extravagant in our prayers. Help us to know that You can do anything. Help us to be direct and talk to You about the true desires of our hearts. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

BELIEVING PRAYER

Believing Prayer

by Janet Sketchley

Each year I attend Write! Canada, I start the conference with a headache. I blame it on the flight, lack of sleep, or an unfamiliar bed. A couple of painkillers later, and it’s gone.

Except for this year. Pills with breakfast didn’t work for long.

I’m Prayer Team Lead for The Word Guild. My main role for Write! Canada is to recruit other prayer volunteers and to be available to pray with people when and as needed.

Some of my best memories from the past few conferences are of those impromptu prayer connections. (Yes, the food, fellowship and professional development are excellent too.)

It’s one thing to pray for someone else. Quite another to ask for prayer. To confess a need.

Some time during that first day, I found myself in the bookstore talking with a couple of other attendees. Maybe one of them said I didn’t look so well. Or maybe she just asked how I was enjoying the conference so far.

I started to say everything was fine, then stopped. Asked for prayer. My head pounded even harder from the tension of admitting the need.

Bless their hearts, Judy and Ann prayed with me in a little huddle right there among the books and shoppers.

With tears in my eyes—gratitude and pain—I thanked them and went in search of Jan. She’s one of the Prayer Team Assistant Leads, a powerful intercessor and the owner of the Under the Cover of Prayer blog. More to the point, my drugs were locked inside her cabin.

Jan’s prayers joined the others’ and the pain only got worse. I swallowed a second dose of painkillers, hoping for a temporary reprieve.

Somewhere between the prayers and the next conference session, I thought I sensed God saying the pain wouldn’t bother me anymore.

It still hurt like crazy, but I decided to believe Him. I told Jan what I thought He’d said and that I wasn’t really sure about it.

By the time we walked into that next session, the pain had almost gone. Every time I felt its grip, I’d remind myself that it wasn’t going to bother me anymore. Then I’d think about something else.

I hadn’t been sure God spoke at all. Nor if He had, how long He’d meant. Long enough for the appointments I had that day? For the panel I was on?

That was back in June. The other day the pain came at me again. It swamped me for a few minutes, and then I looked at my husband and reminded myself aloud, “This isn’t going to bother me anymore.” I gave the spot a gentle rub and promised to hit the medicine cabinet if the pain didn’t go.

It went.

I don’t know how long “anymore” is. But I intend to enjoy it. Caught myself wishing in prayer this morning that God had said something about that ache in my hip….

UNLIKELY WARRIORS

Janet Sketchley writes today’s post.

Unlikely Warriors

Every Wednesday morning, a small group of women gathers in our church for prayer. They come to connect with one another in the presence of a loving and powerful God. They believe God is interested in the details of their lives.

The coffee is always hot, the atmosphere relaxed and inviting. Most ladies have at least one prayer request to share with the others. Some bring needs, others praise. Nothing is considered too big or too trivial for God’s attention.

The prayers don’t stop at personal concerns. Global missions, community and national issues, and others’ needs are all included. One visitor described the experience as reminiscent of a crisis control centre.

Most churches have groups such as this. They’re like a backbone or a ribcage: unseen, yet playing a key role in supporting the body of Christ. I don’t think our church would have survived some of its crisis times, or enjoyed some of its victories, without the intercession of a handful of these faithful prayer warriors.

Word is getting around that prayer is effective. Neighbours ask the group to pray in times of trouble. The results don’t come from any special talent on the part of those gathered to pray. They come from the One who hears the prayers. The women ask in faith, and wait for God to act.

The group has seen God do amazing things. Houses have been bought and sold. People have found work. Church business meetings have gone smoothly. Loved ones have come to the Lord. Lost items have reappeared. Some of the sick have been healed. The  families of those who died have been comforted.

God’s answers are not always what was expected. Many times they have been “Yes,” but at other times, “No.” Sometimes the response has been “Not yet.” The ladies persevere. These answers to prayer have taught them about God’s character. They can trust their Lord to work in the best way, and the best time.

The ladies’ prayer meeting is a time of bonding closer with God and with their fellow ‘pray-ers’. They are encouraged by hearing another’s voice interceding on their behalf, and draw strength from one another and from their sovereign Lord.

Thank God for these little pockets of prayer throughout our country and around the globe. They look like unlikely warriors against the darkness in life, yet they accomplish more than our corporations and politicians do, because they listen for God’s voice and pray for divine intervention in our world.