About a month ago I asked for my readers Counsel on a writing project. I don't think I posted on it, but I started a 3 day fast during that same period. I don't post much about my personal spiritual journey, but I do practice fasting from time to time.
The purpose I had for that period of fasting was to seek out guidance and blessing for some form of increased income, either from writing a book or from a new job. Heck, I'm always open to Ed McMahon showing up too. Anyway, I was feeling pretty down about my personal situation and even started feeling sorry for myself about how "bad I had it".
About 1 day into my fast I was alone praying and I was struck with an overwhelming feeling that I was focused on the wrong question. I had been aware of the plight of Saeed Abedini. I had recently become aware of the situation of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim.
I started praying for them. They weren't the only focus of my prayers this last month but their needs have been frequently raised to God by me. Part way through I devoted my fast to their needs instead of mine. I asked God to deliver Meriam, her child imprisoned with her and her unborn baby from prison.
As time went on Meriam delivered her baby. This was terrible news. She still was in prison. The birth of her baby started the clock on her execution date. She was to be hanged for being a Christian once the baby was weaned. Every thing looked hopeless.
I resolved that I would keep praying anyway. I did another fast. I kept praying, trying to remember to pray for them as if I was the one suffering their fate. I received a sort of revelation that most people that are called to die for their faith actually end up dying for their faith. I acknowledged that this was true. I started arguing with God.
I was reminded that I needed to pray for "His will to be done". I agreed. I started praying that. I asked Him to give strength and help them remain faithful to the end. Oh and by the way God, please release her from prison and let her be reunited with her husband so they can be a family.
On judgment day after they pass out the crowns, they may give out some other "awards". I don't know if I'll come in first but I'm sure to be a contender in the most obnoxious prayers category. I'll probably get a mention in the "who does he think he is addressing God like that" category too.
More days passed. More prayers offered. More and more I had a feeling that I need to submit myself and my desires to the will of God. Increasingly I became aware of my own failures in obedience and my rebellions of heart that limits my fellowship with God. I kept praying for Meriam and Saeed. I have argued the case with heaven. Each argument I've made has been turned back onto my own heart.
"Can Meriam go back to her family now?", I asked before going to sleep last night.
This morning I read this story, Christian woman freed after death sentence in Sudan.
Thank you Father for hearing my prayers and granting my petition. You are faithful to your promise to hear us. I give you praise. I thank you for your kindness. I honor you as God. I praise you for the release and return of Meriam to her family.