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Day 11 – August 26, 2017

I think about why I pray.  For what purpose is my prayer?  Am I just going through my laundry list of answers I am seeking or some favor from God?  If so, I treat Him like a vending machine or a sugar daddy and that is such a wrong representation of who God really is.  Then why do I pray?  What am I really after in my prayers?  

I think what I am really doing is defining my relationship with Him.  I seek Him because He is my Father, my God, my Savior and I want to spend as much time with Him as I can.  I seek Him because when I am in a right relationship with Him I am at peace and can meet the challenges of the day with much more wisdom and ability to view obstacles as opportunities to bring Him praise and glory.  I seek Him because I want to know Him as deep as possible.  I want to identify with Him in all that I do.  I also want to represent Him to the world around me.  

What happens when it appears God doesn’t answer my prayer?  I used to become dejected and disappointed and would even argue with Him.  However, He has taught me through the discipline of being a parent that the parent usually knows what is best for the child even though the child insists on a different answer.  God is like a parent in our relationship.  He knows far more about what I need and the consequences of what my expectation would bring and many times does not heed my request just to protect me from myself.  

Oswald Chambers said in his February 7 devotional that the purpose of prayer is that we will get ahold of God, not the answer from Him.  We pray to come close to Him and know Him deeper.  We pray in submission to His authority, His wisdom, and His love for us.  We pray to enhance our relationship.  It is all God in our prayers, not us.  What we want is insignificant to the value of the deep relationship we have with Him.  That’s why we pray.

Father, I pray this morning to get ahold of You.  I pray to knit my heart to Yours and that we would be on the same page of Your will.  I pray to strengthen our relationship and to be in complete submission to You.  Lord, I pray so that I can walk with You in full trust and confidence.  I pray so that I may dwell in the incredible peace that You give to me.  Thank You, Lord for allowing me to walk with You.  Thank You!  Amen.

Today is our day of travel.  After breakfast we will then load the cars and head to Otovalo.  Jane has a driver from San Lorenzo who will ferry some of us in his car to Otavalo.  There we will meet Damarys and shop together at the market.  Then Damarys will join Jane in driving us the rest of the way to Quito.  Last night we had a heavy thunderstorm that gave us new noises in the night with lots of booms and rain.  This morning everything is wet and clean.

Father, I pray for our travel today.  I pray for safety and that we will enjoy Your incredible creation as we travel through the Andes Mountains on our way to Otovalo.  Thank You, Lord, for bringing us here and allowing us to serve You.  Amen.

Our trip to Otavalo was smooth and relatively easy.  Traffic was not too heavy and we made good time.  I took some pictures out the windshield to catch a glimpse of the beautiful mountain scenery we drive through to travel to Otavalo and on to Quito.

We arrived at the market and it was very busy with lots of people shopping.  This market is more of an artisan market where the local artisans have all their goods on display. There are weaving, clothing, baggage, purses, scarves, throws, blankets, and all sorts of carvings in wood, jade, and vegetable ivory.  The vegetable ivory is from a large seed from a tree and the matrix of the seed is white and looks and feels like ivory.  We spent the afternoon looking and shopping.  Then about 5 pm we started for Quito.

The food court – bags of bulk food

Rugs out of Alpaca fur

Multiple vendors with handmade necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry

Jane, Tricia, Katie, Howard and Henry

Spices by the bulk

Our trip to Quito took a couple hours and we arrived at our guesthouse where we will stay for the next two nights.  About 4 we had stopped at an eatery called the Pie Store which was at the market.  There were multiple choices of pie and we each enjoyed a piece of pie with ice cream.  Because of that none of us were very hungry and so we skipped dinner and decided to call it a day.  The guesthouse is very comfortable and quiet!  There are no noises of the night.  I am looking forward to some good sleep especially after traveling and shopping all day.

Thank You, Father, for giving us safe travel to Quito and for the fun day of shopping and seeing the uniqueness of the Otavalo market.  Lord, this has been a good week of serving You in San Lorenzo.  We touched a lot of lives with Your touch sent through our fingers.  We were able to help introduce two people into Your kingdom as they accepted Jesus as their Savior.  Father, I worship You tonight.  Thank You for Your constant love.  Amen.

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