A beautiful trust through prayer
Even though our Trusting Wholly, Holy Trust brunch is over, the stories continue to flow in because of it. We've been hearing women's experiences of how they've had to trust God throughout their lives. Today we're blessed to read part of Linda Stitt's beautiful life story and how trusting God through prayer has strengthened her life, marriage, parenting and relationships with people. Linda and her husband, Jack has been part of SMC for over 20 years.
"Prayer is a way of life."
Those are strong spoken words from Linda Stitt, a prayer warrior for St. Marks Church.
She grew up in a home where prayer was part of her family's life. It was as daily as brushing her teeth, making her bed and eating dinner. Each morning over breakfast her parents opened the Bible and read Scripture to her and her siblings and then they'd pray together as a family. Then they did this at the dinner table that evening. It was a beautiful habit.
Praying to God became Linda's life as early as she can remember. As she became a young lady, when she was having trouble with school, or friendships or questions about the Bible and what it really meant, she took those questions to her parents and they'd pray together for her. It was a beautiful example.
In the depths of her words is the underlying trust in God that He'll answer them according to his will. She said, "I cannot answer the prayers I pray. I have no power to do that. It's only God's. It's simply my responsibility to give intercessory prayer as I discern a need."
Intercessory prayer - a prayer to God on behalf of others.
Daily, Linda starts her morning reading Scripture from the Bible and then prays with Jack. They do the same thing at the end of each day before they go to sleep. But that's not something they check off their to-do list. Personally, there have been times when I've prayed in the morning to start my day and then checked it off my to-do list. I had my quiet time and then I'm off to work and my busy schedule and hardly think of God the rest of the day.
But that's not how Linda does it. She wants to be in constant communication with God throughout the day - whispering pleads, hope, request and praise to the God whom answers prayers. It's a beautiful trust.
Throughout the day she talks with God. She'll see a young mom at the grocery store with a toddler in the cart crying and she'll ask God to be with that mom to lovingly calm her child. She'll get off the phone with a friend who's struggling with a relationship and she'll ask God for restoration and peace.
Before writing this post, I knew who Linda was but we had never had a conversation together. I called her one afternoon to ask her if we can get together so I can ask her some questions about trusting God through prayer. After scheduling a time, our conversation came to an end - so I thought. Linda then asked me if I minded if she prayed for me right then and there. The Spirit was coming through that phone line because even though we didn't know each other well, she knew exactly what I needed prayer in that day. What a beautiful gift.
But let me tell you friends, I'm not the only one. Linda and Jack pray for you each week. For many years, Linda and Jack get to SMC at the crack of dawn every Sunday morning and pray for us. In the worship center, they put their hands on each row asking the Holy Spirit to be present and to speak to you right where you'll be. During the service they pray during Bob and other teachers' messages for the Spirit to speak though them into each of our hearts and minds. It's a beautiful offering.
And it doesn't stop there.
Each Wednesday at 12:30pm, Linda, Jack, Fil Anderson, and a small group of other SMC members join together in the church prayer room to pray. Their hands hold the information cards turned in the previous Sunday and prayers are said for those specific people and their needs. They pray for SMC church and our leaders and volunteers. They pray for those sick in physical and spiritual need. They pray for our community and country. They give praise to God for His love, forgiveness and healing power. It's a beautiful time.
And they welcome you to join them each week, or whenever you can, during that time. It's an open invitation to everyone and I'll say it was a time of worship when I went.
As Linda said, "Prayer is a way of life." I'm ever so grateful for Linda and Jack and their love for God's people and how prayer is woven into their being.
They are beautiful. We are blessed.
Linda and Jack Stitt