Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Modern Day Miss Clara

We are currently doing a special small group series at our church on the movie the “War Room”.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to watch it.  It’s a movie about the power of prayer and it’s amazing!

The movie was inspiring, however I think what has changed me the most has been discovering the back story of it all.  In the last couple weeks I had the chance to read an article (read it here) about the real-life Miss Clara (the elderly prayer warrior in the movie) that the movie was based upon.  Her name in every day life was Molly Bruno. 

Molly was a ninety-year old radical prayer warrior.  Prayer was more than an event or a duty for her.  It was a lifestyle.  She took time daily to cultivate a personal relationship with her best friend… Jesus.  Each morning she started off with coffee with Him.  It was a sacred daily appointment she never missed. 

In a video interview(see it here), Molly relays when speaking of her relationship with God that it is as if… “He is waiting for me every morning saying… Molly, where are you?”  She spoke with tenderness of her love for God.  It was evident on her face that they were very close.  She shared boldly for all to hear…“When you have Jesus you have EVERYTHING!”

Molly had more than a morning meeting with Jesus every day.  She walked with Him all day long.  She took Him with her everywhere she went, sought His guidance in all the decisions she made, and listened to His heart for her and others.  This relationship was by no means one-sided.  She beamed when she spoke of Him.  She was head over heels in love with her savior.

God did amazing things in Molly’s life.  Soon others began to notice and they started requesting her to pray for their needs as well.  Even kids at school would send prayer requests home to her through her children.  She definitely was NOT your ordinary mom.

As I watched the video something stirred with in me.  She looked like a typical elderly grandma, but she was far more than that.  Just seeing her and hearing her heart for God broke something in me… it was a longing for MORE.

Molly's Bible & note cards with scriptures written out to meditate on daily.
She had something with God that we all have access to, but few pay the price to experience.  It cost her!  It cost her… time, effort, commitment, sacrifice, and probably even some sleep. I’m sure if we asked her if it was all worth it to her, she would say … “ABSOLUTELY”.

With that in mind, I have a question for you… and even for me.  If we knew we could have an amazing and close relationship with God like Miss Molly… would we be willing to pay the price?  I wonder.  Am I willing to pay the price to know Him MORE?

Choosing to pursue a relationship like this takes hard work.  I’m sure she had to make some changes to her schedule.  She probably re-evaluated her priorities often and even lost a lot of sleep because she got up early or stayed up late.

I bet this kind of radical prayer life and relationship with God didn’t happen overnight.  It had to be cultivated… cultivated daily as Miss Molly made choices to move toward God instead of away from Him in all of the decisions she made.

What were the rewards of her sacrifice and commitment?
~God became real to her
~She could hear His voice clearly and confidently
~God answered prayers and she witnessed many miracles
~God used her to reach out to others
~She trusted Him completely
~She was full of faith to believe God for impossible things
~God became her best friend (she loved being with Him)

And the list could go on and on…

When you look at this list, it all sounds good, but what holds us back from really going there with God?  Is it distractions?  Are we content, complacent, or comfortable with where we are?  Are we afraid that God will mess things up if we get too close to Him… maybe even convict us of things we should change? Are we too busy, too stressed, or too lazy?  What is it?  What is keeping us from this amazing, radical, relationship with God?

In the video interview Molly was asked an interesting question… “What would you say to someone who feels like their prayer life is flat or they don’t really know how to pray?  

Her response was simple yet powerful.  She said, “They have no desire.  It’s not a ritual.  They’ve gone away from their first love.  It’s not real to them.” 

 Her advice was this…
“They need to seek the Lord from their heart.  Desire Him and He will answer you.  Say I can’t take this anymore.      
I want YOU!

Molly passed away before the movie ever hit the theaters, but she got to see the final cut and pray everything through.  She left us with more than a great movie, she left a life changing example for us to follow to know Him better.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a change.  I’m ready to shake things up with God and push forward for MORE.  I know it won’t happen overnight, but I’m willing to begin cultivating the kind of relationship that Miss Clara and Molly Bruno had with Jesus.  I want to leave my boys a legacy of prayer.

Are you willing to pay the price to know Him MORE?  What’s holding YOU back?  When we really think about it, I think in most cases we will find that the only person truly holding us back is ourselves.  Choose today to make a move TOWARD Him and cultivate your relationship with God.  I have a feeling that as you do, your life will be turned upside down in a good way.  I invite you to join me on this journey.

Living to leave a legacy,