Today on Words to Go, Patty chats with Patsy Clairmont about "Praying From a Surrendered Heart"
Patsy Clairmont is a wildly popular speaker with Women of Faith conferences, an opportunity that's allowed her to speak to over three million women. She has authored over seventeen books including her first fiction book Stardust on My Pillow. Her next soon-to-be-released book is entitled Catching Fireflies. She’s also written five books for kids. Through faith in Christ, she was set free from the prison of her own home as she left behind the pain of agoraphobia and embraced a life of fullness and joy. She's the funniest lady in the world, but best of all I'm so honored to call her my friend. Welcome, Patsy to Words to Go.
PATSY: Thank you, Patty, for inviting me.
“Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.” Phil. 2: 6-8
PATTY: Patsy, this is one of those meatier scriptures that bears some dissection, it seems. When you approach God in prayer, what does it mean to you to make one’s self nothing?
PATSY: Patty, making one’s self nothing means understanding that I am NOT God. I am NOT in control, I do NOT understand the greater plans of God, and it is ONLY because of Jesus that I am allowed to approach the throne of grace. When I have those truths securely fastened in my brain and then believe it, I am hidden behind the cross. That means my identity is in Christ and He in return represents me to the world for His purposes. Talk about a marketing plan. We are nothing and He is everything...how can we go wrong?
PATTY: Yes, but it’s taken me a long time to feel truly identified IN Christ. I misunderstood what that meant as an early Christian. Can you give us an example?
PATSY: I am a slam-dunk cracked pot. Anyone who has known me for over an hour and a half will sign an affidavit agreeing with that proclamation.
PATSY: Okay, okay fifteen minutes. The point is God has made space for even the most unqualified and broken among us. He understands our inherent weaknesses, our tendencies, and our wanderlust hearts. Imagine that He who is sinless and holy gets us, Little-ol’-nothing-us. Not only does He get us, Christ gives us internal dignity, external purpose, and holy poise. And His generosity doesn’t stop there. He transforms evil into good and death into hope.
PATTY: I think I’m still holding out for some of that holy poise. What a gorgeous picture of transformation, though!
PATSY: Yep, I have no trouble owning “nothing” as my title and calling, because once I relinquish my right to call the shots and bend my knobby-knees to Christ with a contrite heart, I rise up strong in Him. And HIM folks is what it’s all about.
PATTY: I’d like to ask you one more question, Patsy, if you don’t mind. It’s a temptation to treat prayer like a fire hose—only use in case of emergency. What has God or life taught you about the need for prayer as a daily occupation?
PATSY: Years ago I attended a once-a-year gathering of Bible studies from my community. It was a large group and I had not seen many of the gals since the last big gathering. One particular time I was startled by the dramatic change in a woman’s countenance I’d known before. It’s not that I had known her well, but I had observed her through the years on different occasions. She appeared to have a neurological disorder that caused her entire body to shake in tremors. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw her standing quietly, without tremors, watching the milling crowd. In my mind I wondered if the doctors had found a medication that had stilled her shaking or if they had done something surgically to help her.
PATTY: I have to admit, my mind would reach first for the logical too.
PATSY: Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I sidled up to her. “I can’t help, but notice a change in your health,” I probed. This once timid woman turned full face and smiled. I had a sense she wanted to tell me.
“Over the years,” she began, “the medications I was taking did not help my tremors, so I tried a different approach. Then I began to sit quietly in the presence of the Lord for periods of time everyday until gradually the shaking stilled.” Her eyes softened with gratitude.
I wanted to know more. I encouraged her to go on.
“At first I could only sit five minutes and then my anxiety levels would drive me off to fuss over something,” she confessed. “So off and on all day I would go back and make myself sit down again. In time I was able to stay still for longer periods. I didn’t always verbally pray, sometimes I just presented myself to the Lord, and then sat quietly. I often thought, I can’t sit here, because every nerve ending was screaming to move. But after weeks I saw that those moments were crucial to my well-being and sweet to my spirit. I was months into this discipline when others began to notice my tremors were easing. I knew I felt inwardly calmer. Eventually my tremors ceased, although if I get stressed I notice twitching, which is my cue to Be still and know that He is God.”
PATTY: That’s one of those miraculous healings that can’t be refuted. That woman found the source of her healing.
PATSY: Yes, talk about a billboard for prayer! I have never forgotten that woman. I feel like I saw the results of a miracle. It wasn’t only her lack of outward tremors, or her grateful eyes, but her new confidant spirit. She had been like a nervous sparrow and now, well, she was...a mounting eagle.
PATTY: That’s such a faith building story, Patsy. This week Neta reminded us to praise God like warriors. Thelma reminded us to pray with the mind of Christ so that we’re walking in God’s will, praying his will. Then Jan taught us to meditate on and practice the presence of God. Today, Patsy, you taught us that faithful prayers bring bountiful results. Could you leave us with a scripture?
PATSY:“...They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...”
PATTY: Ah! A perfect way to finish off our chat. Patsy, you know I love you so much and continue to pray for you as you minister to millions of women around the world. Thank you for chatting with us today at Words to Go.
PATSY: I loved it!
PATTY: We’d love to hear your feedback, friends, to our chat with bestselling author and communicator Patsy Clairmont! Please leave your feedback any time, all day.
Tomorrow, we have a special treat for our Mystery Guest Friday. A bestselling and beloved novelist will discuss the difficult yet blessed responsibility of praying for our kids. When will the “mystery” be revealed? See you tomorrow, on our special MYSTERY GUEST FRIDAY!