What if His People Prayed, Part 2 ~ Global Prayers

Before my mother passed away three years ago, my regular prayer life was mostly made up of prayers before family meals and some daily devotional or quiet time in the morning.  I also prayed short prayers intermittently throughout the day. During one period of spiritual seeking I went so far as to venture into an overnight prayer vigil at my church.   I liked that experience, but my church stopped the practice soon after.

Inside my first church in Spain, San Jerónimo el Real, in Madrid.

On sacred ground, inside my first church in Spain, San Jerónimo el Real, Madrid.

Becoming a Prayer Intercessor

I had never considered myself a prayer warrior or a particularly articulate prayer person.   As I mentioned in Part 1 of this 2-part series, that radically changed in recent years. About a year after my mother passed away I took a spiritual gift assessment and sure enough, one of my gifts was intercessory prayer—not something that had scored high in the past.

Embracing this gift has helped me to continue on my spiritual walk across denominations and into the Catholic Church for my weekly appointment with God. This prayer practice has awakened my faith in new ways and eventually led me to Spain last summer where I finally met Rosa, Pedro’s mother. That trip was the trip of a lifetime for me—6-weeks in Spain, immersed in the culture, the food, the language and the faith. My visits to the Catholic Church here gave me a longing to worship in the grand Cathedrals and churches of Spain.

Praying in Spain

While I was in Spain, I attended mass and toured several Catholic cathedrals—13 in all, from central to southern Spain and to the island of Mallorca.  It was like being on sacred ground to visit these massive, centuries-old buildings with intricate stone carved exterior figures and laden with golden altars and statues inside.

My prayers in Spain were much different than in America. Back home, I had lots of private time to thoughtfully pray for people by name. While I was in Spain, God led me to meditate on a passage of scripture in Ezekiel. This resulted in my  praying for unity between Catholics and Protestants, and for revival in the Church of Spain. I had no preconceived notions how God was going to do that. I just knew that He was calling me to pray into this country for a spiritual awakening.

Praying Globally

People pray for global causes all the time. This takes me back (as referenced in my last post) to the words of the Casting Crowns song, “What if His People Prayed”:

“And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day”

We pray for government officials and against laws that we believe are unjust. We pray for victims of crime and victims of natural disasters. We pray for the poor and for the hungry.

So why not pray for the people of Spain? They live in a time of economic distress and dramatically high unemployment. According to the Evangelical Covenant Church, although historically considered a Catholic country, church attendance has declined dramatically over the years and a very small percentage have a relationship with Christ.

After six weeks in Spain, I truly have a heart for the people. It started with a heart for Pedro, then his mother Rosa, and on to the remaining 24 members of his family that I met. But more than that, God got a hold of me there and showed me how different the spiritual climate was and the need for people to return to Him. They need His Hope—the kind of hope that does not disappoint. (Isaiah 49:23)

Prayer Works

Earlier this week, and nine months to the day I started my prayers on Spanish soil, I got physical confirmation of what I knew to be true in the spiritual realm. That was when a Spanish pastor and missionary visited the Celebrate Recovery meeting where I gave my testimony. It was his first time at this kind of meeting. We are now exploring ways to bring this healing ministry to Spain.

Is this the start of a spiritual revival in Spain? Is this what God was planning when he directed me to pray? It would probably sound pretty presumptuous for me to declare that (although I am pretty bold with my faith). All I know is that I did my part—and I continue to do so.  All it takes is one person, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:20)

Do you have a desire to go to Spain and pray for the nation and its people?  I invite you to come on a 10-day prayer journey this fall and explore Spain for yourself. And maybe I’ll be there too, if those prayers are answered.  Click on this link, Prayer journey 2014, for more information.

Update 7/23/2014: The Prayer Journey was cancelled for 2014, but tickets are purchased for a Celebrate Recovery mission to France and Spain in the fall of 2014. Prayer appreciated for this mission of hope.

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

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9 Comments

  1. carolapv

     /  March 28, 2014

    So happy to read about your growing prayer life and time in Spain. I too, am hoping for greater understanding between the Protestant and Catholic churches. Your post encourages me to pray.

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    • Carol, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment on my post. I’m glad to hear it encourages you to pray for unity in the church. We don’t always see the fruit of our prayers, but it is changing things in the spiritual realm. It is a good work. Blessings, Ardis

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  2. Thank you, Ardis, for an inspirational blog! Beautiful pictures of the cathedrals. I am glad you figured out a way to display them like you did! Anxious to hear about trip #2!

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  3. Ardis! Wow! Reading this post I couldn’t help but think about the details in the architecture of the buildings, magnificent paintings, grand-scale and detailed sculptures, wood carvings, and etc., all of which I have experienced shortly prior to your trip, as you know. The magnificence of these art forms simply don’t erect in our day like in the detail of the past. We see a modern art-work in our day as these skills slip away. I wonder why as I read this post, the same as you wonder why people in Spain seems to have slipped away from Him.

    I suppose it is a myriad of reasons just as your observance of “the need for people to return to Him.” What kind of magnificence will generations to come experience because of your obedience to Him and for Him, uniqueness, and most importantly your application of all you know and all you desire. Prayerfully and thoughtfully you move, applying everything you know for His Glory. As I “turn each page” on your blog, I marvel at the life that has come out of the seed and anticipate “full bloom.”

    Only our Heavenly Father knows the outcomes; those of which are His. In the mean time, how lovely that you slowly build upon the rock, like a sculptor of days gone by, shaping hearts filled with the Holy Spirit, depicting His magnificence. Nothing can be more Grande than He.

    May you find joy and peace as you go forward in the love of Christ.

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    • Susan, Your words here are beautifully crafted and molded–just like the grand cathedrals in Spain. Write on, sweet Sister!!!

      Thank you for your encouragement. This isn’t easy for me to be so bold and to follow this course. At times it is very scary–with periods of wrestling with God. Of course, He always wins, but I hope my wounds make me a better person and more eager to serve Him. Stretch and grow–as you know–always looking UP. Peace to you on your journey of obedience. ❤ Ardis

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  4. Ardis, I loved your blog post and the amazing photos of the cathedrals of Spain! More so, I love to hear your vision and growing heart for intercession for Spain. I was there in 2009 in my Spanish graduate studies and we spent time in the cathedrals, the museums and studied the art extensively. I was overcome by much of the religious art and felt the Renaissance artists saw something of God that we are missing today. El Greco, Murillo, and others’ works are so other worldly… I’m praying God revives the secrets about Him that past generations may have touched!

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    • Ellen, I’m so glad to hear about your heart for Spain as well. I hope and pray it works out for you to come to Spain. I could certainly use a translator along the way. This trip I am looking forward to engaging the locals and praying for their individual needs too. I went to the Prado one day last summer. The religious art was my favorite. They did have a way of glorifying God in their paintings. Keep me posted on your trip plans. Our prayers are being heard for Spain even now. Ardis

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    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

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