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The power of prayer

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Deborah Joell

Prayer didn’t always come easily for Deborah Joell.

In the early stages of her faith walk, she questioned if she was doing it right and whether or not God would hear her.

But eventually, the mother-of-three got the hang of it. Today she works to pass on that knowledge to other believers so they feel more confident and assured when talking to their Heavenly Father.

“Prayer is very important,” Ms Joell said. “I believe we are called to intercede on behalf of other people who are struggling and who don’t know where to turn.

“I’ve learnt that we as a church aren’t meant to stay inside the four walls and sit on all the knowledge, understanding and wisdom we are taught by our pastors and just keep that to ourselves. If we do, it becomes null and void. We have to go out there and share it with the rest of the world because there are other people who need it.”

Earlier this year, Ms Joell helped Eugenia Robinson lead a prayer workshop called “Lord! Teach Me To Pray”.

Ms Robinson will be hosting part two of that event today from 10am until 2pm at First Church of God, Angle Street. Ms Joell remembers clearly the day she first surrendered her heart over to God. It was July 4, 1999. “Back then I would send my two sons to Sunday school with a neighbour and I would stay home. They would come back from church and always say ‘Mom, you should come with us’.

“Then one day I just got up and went to church and never turned back. The message was about why we need to live our lives surrendered to God and the pastor talked about how people could leave church a few minutes early and miss out on a blessing or word from God.

“Before that day, I had this feeling there had to be more to life than what I was living. I had been through so many challenges and hurts — and even though man will fail us I knew God wouldn’t let me down. I made up my mind that day whatever I go through, it’s only God that can pull me through.” Ms Joell continued believing that promise, even after facing a challenging personal situation with one of her sons. He had strayed away from the church and their relationship had become strained. She prayed and prayed, but at times it felt like God wasn’t moving quick enough. “It took years before I saw any difference in his mindset and behaviour,” she said. “We used to butt heads and disagree on almost everything, but one day last summer he called me and said he was going to church for his daughter’s Christening. He called me back later that same evening and said ‘I rededicated my life’. “I learnt from that situation that God moves in His own timing and sometimes we have to change our mindset to understand His way is always the best way. Now I can’t shut my son up about his faith. He sends me little nuggets of the Word and encourages me with different messages he reads.”

The situation increased her trust in God; it also served as a reminder that His promises are true.

When teaching others about prayer, Ms Joell reassures believers it’s okay to speak to God differently from the person in the pew next to you. If you don’t know what to say, start by just thanking God for the simple blessings in your life — a roof over your head and air in your lungs — or use words directly from the Scriptures. Ms Joell encourages women to come out to today’s event so they can lift up the concerns of our island to the Lord.

“It’s time for us as the church to take our true place,” she said. “We have received lots of knowledge, understanding and wisdom from our pastors to discover who we are in Christ, now we have to deliver the message of the kingdom to the rest of the nation. My hope is that people would develop a relationship with one another and take action by walking in their unique calling.”

For more information on other upcoming prayer events, call 236-2725 or e-mail rhm@logic.bm

Deborah Joell