Tag Archives: Heather McGillivray

ARE YOU THERE, GOD?

Are You There, God?

by Heather McGillivray

Are You There, God?

Are You There, God?

“Prayer Traffic Control, this is Celestial Response Team. Request permission to go ahead with scheduled response, do you read?”

“Copy, Celestial Response Team. Permission denied.”

“With all due respect, Prayer Traffic Control, we’re three weeks behind and, seriously, it doesn’t look like we can hold our positions much longer. Requesting reevaluation.”

“Request denied. There’s no way anybody’s getting through on this channel. Eleven units are backed up waiting to be redirected. We’ll be cleaning this mess up for a while.”

“Copy, Prayer Traffic Control. Awaiting redirection orders; and, Sergeant… It isn’t..?”

“Yes, C.R.T., she’s at it again.”

“I thought Master Command was handling her cases from now on.”

“Seems she threw a curve ball at them when she began praying against the Master’s will…”

“Not again…”

“Unfortunately. The confusion is more than we handle, with playoffs season and post-Christmas spending petitions overload we’ve reached critical capacity, and, you know Heather—getting through to her is never an easy task, even for Master Command.  Word has it Gabriel, himself, is preparing a little visit… that is, once he can find his way through the disaster.”

“You think she would have learned by now—over.”

“Roger that, C.R.T. Over and out!”

Okay—so maybe ‘another day in paradise’ doesn’t quite play out like that, but I think it’s fairly safe to say we need not at all fear praying; we need to fear not praying at all. Sometimes the inhibitions about what might happen when we pray can keep us from praying.

We’ll call out in a crisis, bless our meals, and wrap up the day with reassuring requests for loved ones before nodding off to sleep.

But pray something through? From beginning to end—with all the clashes and combats, long nights of waiting and watching, perilous plummets, and giving-up-of-one’s self along the way? That kind of praying takes faith, and that kind of faith takes believing God is willing and able to handle even the biggest of blunders we make along the way.

To find that out we need to get started, and God provides the fodder for us to break through our predictable patterns and get us going in the right direction. Life is loaded with heartache and distress—in our own lives and the lives of those around us are insurmountable obstacles, grief, and suffering. It’s not enough anymore to simply offer up a ‘hope and a prayer.’ God calls us to live out the adventure and let Him take us deeper in our battle to overcome evil with good—on our knees.

Praying is so much more than something we choose to do whenever it suits us. It is a manner of living that changes everything. Along the way we learn to be corrected and built up; changed and healed—so that God can trust us enough to pour His heart out to us. What a privilege for a sinner like me to be made God’s confidante, and He is no respecter of persons—we choose how far we will go in letting God in.

Is the Father calling you to lead a more focused and determined prayer life? Nothing could be more exciting!

Prayer:

Lord, please encourage us to respond to your promptings to pray with passion. To go beyond what we’re comfortable with, and let you shift our thought patterns toward living a life of constant prayer in place of praying only when we feel a need to. We want to be the Daniels of this day; the Esthers and Mordecais; the Hudson Taylors who turn nations around; the Hezekiahs who prolong life; those Elishas whose dead bones, even, give life long after we’re gone—and we know that only You can accomplish that in us as we surrender daily  through prayer—in Jesus’ name.

Related articles

Heather McGillivray

Heather  would like to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,”when she finally gets home.. Visit her at her blog.

CRUMBS

Crumbs

by Heather McGillivrary

In times of plenty

it’s hard to imagine

that crumbs

could be anything but waste, to be wiped away with the trash.

A good meal

is taken for granted

in times of plenty.

Sometimes, when my heart is filled up with plenty–plenty of activities; plenty of dreams; plenty of goals to achieve–I give God the crumbs.

When my prayer time gets swept away with the wastefulness of life it’s never long before famine sets into my soul.

And I find myself back at the altar,

begging just to taste the crumbs at His table, once more.

Heather McGillivray

Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.
The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one.
What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.

THROUGH THE FOG

Through the Fog

by Heather McGillivray

We live a half hour out of town, so now that my son works at six in the morning (and because the bus service won’t get him there in time), I have an hour-long commute before the sun starts to yawn and stretch its sleepy rays across the horizon.

We also live in a valley region, and fall always brings lots of fog into the equation. This morning was worse than usual. I had to slow right down and forget about rushing to get there on time. It was necessary to clutch the steering wheel and focus all my attention a few feet in front of me for much of the ride.

I like those times, though—and I like the fog. It makes me realize that nothing is worth traipsing full-speed ahead into and that sometimes in life we are at the mercy of our circumstances. All we can do is clutch the steering wheel, hang on ferociously, and keep our focus in front of us.

There are seasons of prayer that require all of our attention, too, to safely get where we’re going. We can barely see which way to go and yet there is nothing else to do but forge ahead. It’s at those times we must slow down and tenaciously cling to our Saviour. Progress is sometimes painful, and it requires us to bow often in humility—admitting our need; crying out for direction and guidance.

But, like it did for me this morning, the fog lifts and we can relax again. Things are clearer; we can speed up a little.

My son is gearing up to get his first car, and when he does I will miss these morning commutes with him. I know it won’t be long before he’s on his own, so I treasure every moment I get, even though it isn’t always easy or fun—especially when conditions are hazardous. It won’t be long until we get to where we’re going, too—and all of the nerve-wracking situations in life we’ve had to pass through won’t even be visible in the rear-view mirror.

There’s no denying the excruciating darkness life seems to surround us with at times, and there are no pat answers or clichés clever enough to cut through it all. The fog fences us in and we must let faith be our steering wheel. Let’s cling to it with all we’ve got. God will bring us into the clearing.

Help us, Lord, to slow down during those times. To pray hard, bow often in humility, cry out for your help, and not traipse full-speed ahead into the unknown recklessly—nothing is worth missing the way for.

I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do for them; I will not forsake them (Isaiah 42:16b) NIV.

Heather McGillivray

Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.
The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one.

What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

The Best is Yet to Come

by Heather McGillivray (reprinted with permission July 12, 2011)

What endeared me most to my grandfather growing up was the way he always saw a little humour and a ray of sunshine in every situation. When my grandparents’ dream of buying a new home with the income from their taxi stand and diner was dashed by medical expenses and trips south to Toronto for Mama’s endless eye operations–leaving them to share the little one bedroom apartment with my mom while she grew up–he patiently endured it, spending the rest of his life caring for her in her blindness.

When I came along he was well seasoned by life’s hardships.  “Hurry up and wait!” he’d tell me with a grin, instead of bemoaning something taking too long. I often think about my grandfather’s words when it seems like God is taking a long time to answer my prayers.

Like the time I needed to approach someone meekly about a situation. I’d prayed it through and gone with the best of intentions. As I turned off my ignition and stepped out onto the asphalt the lyrics for ‘The Best is Yet to Come’ flooded my soul, and I went in expectantly. I thought the ‘best’ would be waiting for me in the parking lot on my way out.

But my efforts were not well received and because of that, my life took a course I’d never planned on. Nearly a decade later–my prayers seemingly vanished into the unpredictability of it all–I’m still waiting.

I thought about them when a divorce I never wanted left me unable to keep my house and I was offered a chance to slip in somewhere on the sly—getting graciously bumped ahead of other equally needy families by well-meaning friends. As I prayed, God told me to wait. I still remember the time of release in worship I had when He gave me the assurance it was all taken care of–accommodations were coming right around the corner.

What followed were two gruelling years and a Red Sea experience. Illness made it impossible to keep working, and soaring housing prices made it impossible to find anything cheaper. I’d been on a waiting list for a local co-op, but they’d informed me there wouldn’t be an opening for months at the earliest. God told me to wait.

Within days the tables turned. People moved out of the co-op, others switched units, and those ahead of me declined their spots—we were in. My house sold at the peak of the market, giving me extra to sustain me through the worst. The best had, indeed, come—in God’s timing.

Like Joseph and Abraham, sometimes we feel like we’re hurrying up to follow God and He puts us on His celestial waiting list—our prayers seemingly slipping through His snoozing radar. Not so.

“And another angel came and took his place at the altar, having a gold vessel for burning perfume; and there was given to him much perfume, so that he might put it with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar which was before the high seat” (Rev. 8:3 ASV).

Did you know that one of the most important steps in making perfume is letting it sit? The longer a scent base sits with the pure grain base, the stronger the perfume will be. God has not forgotten our prayers. Not one vapour of our hearts’ anguish soaking the altar of His affection has escaped His concern. Every petition is being painstakingly preserved and perfected for that precise moment when it will spill over our circumstances in a glorious and fragrant outpouring of answers we never imagined possible.

Precious, patient believer–hurry up and pray. The best is yet to come.

———————

Heather McGillivray

Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.
The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one.
What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.

PRAYER LINE

Prayer Line

by Heather McGillivray (reprinted from June 10, 2011 with permission)

This morning, as I was hanging my laundry on the line in descending order of weight and size, I took my time to drape the last few articles—with stains—facing the sun. Nothing can disintegrate mustard spots and fade the vilest blotches of blood like a June morning’s piercing rays. Last week I hung a white tunic up with a mango mark that hadn’t come out in the wash, and hours later I reeled it back in without spot or wrinkle. Okay, it still had a few wrinkles­—we’re at the mercy of the wind for that—but the yellow fleck had forever fled from the sun’s penetrating gaze.

That wasn’t the first time this morning I’d aired my dirty laundry, though. I hauled my basket full of soiled cares and sullied concerns to my prayer place and washed them in the water of His Word. I let His mercy pour healing agents into the rinse as I scrubbed every anxiety over the washboard of His wisdom and commands. Ours is no quick-cycle chemical cleansing—prayer is a ‘roll up your sleeves’ kind of rewarding work.

Sometimes I get up from on my face before God fully cleansed and refreshed. Other times, like this morning, I find there are things that just didn’t come out in the wash.

So I hung them up on my faith-line. I tethered them to mercy, and secured them with trust—carefully positioning each one before the Son’s face. He sees them, I know. They don’t stand a chance against His penetrating gaze.

Clouds might get in the way, this is true. But out there they will stay until He comes through.

I like to think that prayer is a little like doing my laundry. I have to keep up with it or I don’t have anything to wear. Sometimes a gentle rinse cycle is all I need. Some requests get put through the wringer. And some things just have to hang and dry.

purify yourselves and change your clothes. Genesis 35:2

—————————————–

Heather McGillivray

Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.
The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one.
What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.

DON’T WRITE OFF A POWERFUL PRAYER

Don’t Write Off a Powerful Prayer (reprinted with permission)

By Heather McGillivray

Being somewhat of a snoop, I enjoy getting together with friends and finding out what’s going on in their lives. I also love when I make a new friend and get to sit down and talk with her (really talk) for the first time—which is why I was right in my element last night, tucked away in our little booth at Country Style Donuts while my new friend told me all about the past harrowing half decade of her life.

I don’t enjoy hearing about the hardships of others, but I am inspired whenever I get to be close to someone who happens to wake up in the middle of living her dream–only to discover it has turned into a nightmare from which she does not have the luxury of escaping–and stops every once in a while, through tears, to tell me how God has been good to her.

She could choose to fall apart and let the people who depend on her most down—or she could bear up under the weight of it and keep putting one foot in front of the other. She has chosen the latter, and I am greatly humbled by her example–having been the queen of falling apart all over the place and basically spilling out from between my own seams on many a memorable occasion.

I cannot imagine going through the situations she is facing and still be as intact as she is.

We agreed to pray for each other. Sometimes we’re in a situation too long, too tightly and too deep to pray our way objectively out of it; sometimes praying for someone else’s situation and knowing they are praying for ours is almost as good as a vacation.

But on the way home I couldn’t help thinking to myself—what I really want to do is rewrite the rest of her life.

I want to open a new page in my laptop and start typing turns in the road ahead. I want to write her a reprieve: days without rain and sunshine around every corner. I want to build a white picket fence around her dreams and keep out the big, bad wolf.

Instead, I prayed. And not the mental ascent kind of prayer I sometimes send off when I haven’t taken the time to get acquainted with the situation—the kind of deep pleading and crying out to God that only comes by the power and love of His Holy Spirit, and through the witness of having experienced some of the same kind of pain. I prayed on the way home. I prayed in my favourite prayer place. And I prayed just now while the writing of this brings it back to my heart afresh.

And, while I don’t know how the story will unfold, I do know there is a peace and assurance of faith that comes with leaving the final chapters in the hands of Him who wrote the Book on love.

We don’t get to write others off, so to speak. But we do have a powerful impact on how the rest of their stories will unfold. Our prayers can push back the antagonist; send healing rain and snatch lives back out of the mouth of the destroyer.

Why do I pray so little when I know that this is so?

Our prayers are powerful—they move mountains; they move God.

But most of all they move us.

The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with (James 5:16b The Message Bible).

———————————————————————–

Heather McGillivray

Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.

The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one. What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.