Thoughts on Prayer by Barbara Pryor
“REJOICE in HOPE; Be PATIENT in tribulation; Be CONSTANT in PRAYER” (Romans 12:10)
"Paul’s wise words to the Romans, have served me well as I have journeyed on my faith walk, especially in the last thirty-one -years. I say I am an ordinary woman, who has lived though extraordinary circumstances, through the grace and mercy of my loving God.
My husband, Andy, and three children, seventeen year-old Byron, fifteen-year-old Meg, and nine year-old Sarah moved from Pittsburgh to the Boston, Massachusetts area in 1985. Six weeks after moving into our new home, in suburban Boston, her nine-year old daughter, Sarah, was abducted on October 9th, a beautiful fall day. Sarah remained a missing child for thirteen years. Over the ensuing years of searches, and reported sightings, I remained hopeful that Sarah would be found. On January 13, 1998, Sarah’s remains were positively identified through DNA testing and she was laid to rest, on what would have been her 22nd birthday. Through the long years of waiting and hoping, the Holy Spirit helped me to wait patiently, refusing to give way to fear. I knew that God was with me, and would never leave me. I could face my tomorrows, because I prayed continually and had the glorious gift of people praying for me and my family, most of whom I have never met. Sarah’s story became one of the leading and most watched stories in New England during the thirteen years she was a missing and endangered child.
God gifted me from an early age with gifts of speaking and encouragement, which He allowed me to use in praying for the criminal justice professionals working on Sarah’s case and the printed and television media. I count one miracle in God’s amazing love to be the transformation of my righteous anger and rage at the tragic loss of my sweet daughter, into mercy, forgiveness and love."
“Barbara has done what the alchemists of the middle ages failed to achieve; she has turned ugly iron into glorious gold”.
Dr. Carl Saylor, Barbara’s Pastor, speaking at Sarah’s funeral 1/13/98
Testimony from the All-Church Retreat by Laurie Miller
"Our weekend retreat on prayer was especially meaningful to me. Often my week includes "praying on the fly" rather than a deep, meditative prayer time which invites God to enter and me to listen. Participating in focused prayer with the faithful of Eastminster on Saturday evening was so enriching and humbling. Much is gained by being in community and listening to one another. Praying together only enhances this bond. I plan to find time for more personal Spirit-led prayer that enriches my thirsty soul and guides my feet in serving our Lord."
Testimony from the All-Church Retreat by Simone White
"Our church retreat was a blessing. The topic was God’s Invitation to Intimacy- prayer. This topic was perfect for this season in my life. I was bitter about issues in my life. I had a negative outlook on everything. I have hurt many people with things I have said. I was destructive to myself and the people around me.The church retreat was one of the many events that God used to extend his hand of mercy and love.
There were two points presented at the Retreat that changed my attitude in prayer and how I pray. The first point was, humble yourself but have confidence in God. I was not humble in my heart. I went to God blaming others for my negative reaction.The more I pray, the more the spirit shines a spotlight on places in my own heart and actions that needs a lot of work. I humbly go to God daily knowing he is the only one that can forgive sins.
The second point was, In Intercessory prayer, pray the heart of God. The speaker shared that her ministry was struggling financially and she wanted to pray for her financial challenges however during prayer she would pray for the revival of the city. She would soon realize that God was leading her to pray for a revival. Now when I pray, I ask God what is God’s heart for this time of prayer or for a situation.
Those two points changed my attitude in prayer. Time with God has changed my perspective on the different situations and I have inner peace. I'm a work in progress and I am stunned by God’s grace."