Friday, August 1, 2008

Save some unanswered prayers

Earlier in the week we spoke of the to often missed joy of unanswered prayer. It reminded me of a very special moment in my spiritual walk with Father, (or Papa if you have grown to love that name as I have). I spent the majority of last summer tucked away in my office reflecting on and pleading with Father on a lifetime of issues. Every day I had been asking: Jer. 33:3 “Call upon Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not,”. I left it open as to what God might want to reveal to me. Little did I expect the very special gift I was to be given. It was so wonderful I wrote in my journal that people might think I am crazy if I shared it. Since then I have found other wiser, grounded teachers of the faith who have discovered the same truths, men like Bounds and Chambers. I feel free to tell you today but I have to give you a little background to appreciate it for me so you can apply it to yourself. I’ll make it as brief as possible.
My Grandfather, Max E. Zimmermann was a wonderful godly man, strict, but totally dedicated. I wish you could have heard him pray. He knew Father well, really well. He died in 1982 and my saintly grandma in 1984. My mother died of cancer in 85 and my father, (who was also my best friend and closest confidant) went home in 1991. Deanna’s father, Troy, (the servant of all servants) followed in 2003. I could go on but can you see how my heart might be a little closer to heaven these days? One of the intellectual questions I was pondering at the time was how my life experience intersect with eternal heaven. I thought of it in a Trekkie way of a space/time continuum. (I really don’t know what that means either, I just like the sound of it). It was one year ago today, nearly to the hour that God gave me a treasured gift of understanding. You may already know this, I did not. I was reading at that moment from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians
EPH 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Paul was praying for all the saints, of his generation and ours to know the depth of the Love of God. That got me to thinking, Grandpa prayed for me, as did my dads and a whole lot of others. Not all of their prayers were answered back then, at least not in fullness. I don’t remember the words they used, only I knew then I was being prayed for. They were concerned about family things and ministry things, knowing they would not see the final pages. Then it came to me in an all but audible voice. What I was doing right at that moment was a fulfillment of those unanswered prayers of 40 years ago. Could that possibly mean they know now? Following is an unedited copy of part of my prayer journal from one year ago today:

Father your ability to draw threads of life together into a culminating event that spans generations is well documented in scripture but takes just short of a lifetime to experience. Yesterdays scriptures and words from the past culminated in an understanding of how eternity intertwines with the present and past. Paul prayed for future generations in Eph 3, Grandpa and Dad added to that prayer with me specifically in mind. Paul, Dad and Grandpa are with you and yet we are all still working together for the same eternal cause, the one YOU prayed for before the foundations of the earth were materialized. You told the powers and principalities around the throne to just watch. They watch and give you glory AZ time for what is happening, or about to happen at Grace Family Fellowship. No way is my family going to be left out of that. It brings glory to you there now. Ephesians 2 taught me years ago that Heaven is child centered. I have preached that the things we do now will bring glory to you and reward to us then. I see how it works. Paul, grandpa and Dad, grandma and Mom all prayed for me as a minister. I hope they have not seen the struggles but joined in rejoicing in others victories. Now they can see the fulfillment of their prayers in your eternal plan working through me which they asked you to do. I don’t remember the specific words, but I do remember the prayer times and I have the books and bibles. It happened, is happening and will happen. I can verify most every step from scripture and sermons I preached over the years. When revival comes you will say to the throngs around the throne, Look here at Max, 39 years ago he gave his grandson a bible with a prayer, from 2 Tim. when I called his grandson into ministry. Now look here at MY answer to that prayer. Another pentacost! Right there in deer valley. And everyone and every thing will praise you and grandpa will know he is vindicated for the years of abuse he took from his family when he obeyed at his call. Glory to glory. That is how heaven works, tying the threads of eternity to the present, all to the glory of God. What is god doing, weaving the prayers of the past into the power of the present for his glory and our good and it is not over. NO OTHER GOD OF ANY MANS IMAGINATION COULD OR WOULD DO THAT. You are one of a kind, the originator, author and sustainer of it all. To not give all to cooperate with you is the epitome of stupidity of which I all to often am the poster boy. I want to be a poster boy of another kind. I want to share what I know after you have proven it in our fellowship. IT could be the book I could transcribe. You are the author. I NEVER in eternity would have seen that, I am unimaginative in that respect. In a way it will be hard NOT to share, but I know that short of visible and viable evidence no one wants to hear it.
A small part of the evidence of revival sat in my living room last night. That created a sanctified ruckus amongst the angels, my overly curious Grandfather wanted to know what the ruckus was about and I know of at least 5 who were honored by Father and praising Father in heaven last night because of the answer to their to that moment unanswered prayers. What a glorious sight!

What did I learn that day?

1. Pray for things that I will see only from the other side with Jesus

2. My obedience today can link me to my family in heaven today. REALLY

3. Send something ahead in unanswered prayer that will give God glory in heaven when I can watch it personally unfold.

4. Sarayu loves this kind of stuff (for the readers of The Shack)


Doni Brinkman said...

Okay first of all - as your first born child - I here and now in writing claim your prayer journals. :) :) Can I have this comment notarized LOL? :)

Hebrews 11 - they died in faith believing having not received the fulfillment of the promise. You always did say that Hebrews may be your favorite book.

I love this thought and I have been praying for my grandchildren and great grandchildren and further due to this conversation. How incredible to see it from the other side. To see HIM get glory - in person. Simply incredible.

heidi jo said...

i LOVE this idea of PURPOSELY praying for things you know you will not see the answer to in THIS time and space of life... that is just beautiful. wow... i'm sure i've done something of the like but not ever as consciously as this - to make a conscious decision to say the pray TRUSTING that i WILL see the fulfillment from the other side of heaven! this is like a time capsule times infinity in special quotients. :) love it... let's see... i'll call it 'eternity prayer capsules' :) i want to see some of yours 'opened' on the other side one day too.