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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Intimate Relationship
By
02/24/08


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Therese opened the door and tossed her keys onto the table. Disappointment consumed her. She had sat through church enjoying the presence of God only to feel empty the moment the final hymn was sung.

“Where are you, God?”

Recovering from a marriage separation, she found it daunting living on her own after six years. Therese had asked a few women from church to pray with her and although they were all nice enough, they merely promised to pray for her. She’d never been able to really pray; not intimately with God.

“God, I wish I knew how to talk to you. I mean really talk. You seem so far away.”

The email indicator flashed on Therese’s monitor moments after she turned on her laptop. She checked through the sender’s names until her eyes fixed on one she recognized from church.



Dear Therese,

I overheard you asking for prayer today. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop to talk. Sally needed her bottle and Lisa needed a nap. I looked up your email details in the church directory and I’d like to pray with you. Will tomorrow be OK? My sister is minding the girls for a few hours and I can drop by between appointments. One of my friends said you’ve also been asking how to spend time with God. Below is a twelve step prayer plan I use to keep focused. I will share more with you when I see you.

Love, Marjorie.




Therese remembered the petite woman with the gorgeous little babies. Marjorie had dropped off a casserole when she first moved into the tiny unit. She had been very nice and didn’t seem put out at all. Actually, she was the only one who did more than just offer to help in some way.

She continued to read the “Steps to Prayer,” finishing with a smile forming on her lips.

“Thank you, Lord,” Therese whispered, after she had absorbed every word. She scrolled back up to the top and hit the reply icon.



Dear Marjorie,

A lot of people have offered to pray for me but you are the first to offer to pray with me and this is something I need most. Your "Twelve Step Prayer Plan" looks challenging but I’d love to give it a go. My prayer life is a virtual zilch. I believe that is the reason why I’ve struggled in my emotional recovery. I’ve read about people who have an intimate relationship with God through prayer, but I haven’t known where to start.

I’m on the late shift at the hospital tomorrow, so the morning would suit me better; perhaps ten o’clock, if that works for you. Thank you. I await your answer.

Love, Therese.




Marjorie arrived on schedule. “Therese, how are you... really?”

“Not good,” she admitted. “It all still seems surreal.”

For the first time since she walked out of her abusive marriage, Therese was able to share her story. A weight was lifted from her heavy heart as Marjorie put her arm around her shoulder and prayed. Marjorie encouraged Therese to pray, too, and after a faltering start, she released her plea to her Father.

Before Marjorie left, she explained the twelve prayer steps to follow, which would introduce Therese to an intimate daily hour with God.

“Can we do this again?” Therese inquired, opening the door for Marjorie.

“Would you like to make this a weekly get-together?”

Therese was delighted. “Oh, please. Yes.”



Therese entered the vestibule the following Sunday with her usual anticipation to worship with her church family. But, today was different; she brought with her a new joy within her spirit and a more positive attitude. She also knew that this new presence would still be there after the last hymn was sung.




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Editor’s note: Information on the twelve step prayer plan can be obtained by contacting the author by Private Messenger or email.


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This article has been read 732 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/29/08
This moved and convicted me - you definitely will hit a chord with many, and that is a GOOD thing! Well done!
Seema Bagai 02/29/08
Great story. You portrayed "loving one another" expertly.
Laury Hubrich 03/01/08
I love this! Thank you for your 12 steps to prayer. I used it for the first time this morning and it gave my prayer time much better direction! I love how you used this story to introduce the power of prayer into mentoring relationships! It is exactly what we need "for such a time as this!"
Laury
Beth LaBuff 03/01/08
I loved your character Marjorie, what an inspiration she is. Your story is very good and very well written -- your words just flow. I could appreciate your title once I’d read the story. I enjoyed this message of hurting and hope very much.
Jan Ackerson 03/02/08
This moves along at a great pace because the e-mails are interspersed with Therese's life. Nice touch!
LauraLee Shaw03/02/08
I like the format you chose. How many cannot relate to those times of distance from the Lord? And every time we draw near and ask Him for help, He delivers, albeit His own way and time. Love the message here.
Ruth Neilson03/02/08
It's amazing how a simple action can bring someone some hope. Thanks for sharing!
Jacquelyn Horne03/03/08
Good example of the topic. Thanks for sharing.
Dianne Janak03/03/08
Oh boy.. very convicting. I think many of us have been on all 3 sides of this story. The needy one.. the promising one and the doer.. hits home with me anyway.. Great idea.. and relateable!
Debbie Wistrom03/03/08
Your Marjorie is like so many of the kind outreaching people at FW. Thanks for the tender story. Well done.
Chely Roach03/05/08
Very nice example of the topic...great job.
Loren T. Lowery03/05/08
I love it when someone speaks of the importance of prayer and helps direct those who are struggling with knowing how, when or where. This piece is so lovingly written and with such conviction that it shines through and will help many by its light.
Joshua Janoski03/05/08
As Christians, we should all take the time to pray with each other and lift each other up.

This is a good lesson for us all, and it motivates me to want to find some people to pray and fellowship with. I know people, but I don't always take the time to get together with them.

Thank you for the blessing!
Tim Pickl03/05/08
The action of e-mailing someone....followed up by the action of showing up speak very loudly, indeed! With tears, I feel Therese's emotions; and I like the hopeful ending.
Glynis Becker 03/05/08
Really well done. I too have been on all sides of this situation...very convicting.
Patty Wysong03/05/08
Great example of the topic--her actions definitely spoke louder than everyone else's words. This is such a good reminder for us to not only pray for people, but WITH people!!
Sherry Castelluccio 03/05/08
I saw myself in so many different aspects in this story. There was also a conviction. How well do people see Jesus in me? Well done.
Sara Harricharan 03/05/08
This was beautiful! I could relate to this-especially with feeling the 'virtual zilch' part. I'm glad that there was someone for her and someone who stepped forward and helped. Really well written! ^_^
Joanney Uthe03/05/08
How often we offer to pray for someone and walk away. Margorie didn't say she would pray for the MC, she offered to WITH her. Great, convicting way to show the topic.
Hanne Moon 03/07/08
Congratulations on your placement in the top 15 of your level! This was a very inspirational piece and really clinched the topic without even hinting at the proverb! Very nicely done! :D
Sara Harricharan 03/07/08
Congrats on making #15 in your level! ^_^