Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prayers & Prophecy & Visions, oh my!

Recently, I was praying for a friend, mostly thanking God for putting her into my life. I have always known that prayer is a two way street---talking to God, then listening to Him---but so often I speed through my list of praises and "gimmes" and move on. For some reason, that day I was praying & asked God to give me a specific word or a vision to share with her that would encourage her.

As I sat quietly, a very vivid image came to mind. It was a strange one that made no sense to me. I tried to shake my head & remove that image from my mind, thinking surely I'd come up with that one on my own---it couldn't be anything from God. So I prayed again, asking God to show me something I could tell my friend that would encourage her. Again I got still & quiet, and the same image came to mind. I sat there, pondering whether I was imagining this picture in my mind or if He had really given it to me to share with her. I kind of laughed to myself because the image seemed so silly & absurd.

After finally deciding that maybe He had given it to me for her, I asked Him "Ok, so what exactly am I supposed to tell her about this image? I's not exactly profound or amazing." Immediately, a sentence was on my lips about this image. I felt silly emailing her about this image & sentence "from God".....because surely it would be of no help or encouragement to her. I just knew that I'd probably run off one of my best friends by showing her how crazy I am in sharing this image & sentence with her. As I hit "send" on the message, I winced. How would she respond when she received it? Would she think I had finally fallen off the deep end?

Moments later I received a reply. I closed my eyes as I pressed the button to open the message. I wasn't sure what to expect from her. But she responded extremely positively! In fact, she said she wrote with tears streaming down her cheeks. She said the image I saw & the sentence I felt led to share with her were an answer to prayers she'd been praying that I would've never known about.

As I sat there & pondered what God had just done....feeling a little crazy, then feeling like a tool He'd used.... I remembered a time many, many years ago. I was cooking supper while a worship CD played. The Hillsong version of Hungry was on & all the sudden, a friend came to mind. I whispered a quick "God, bless this friend" sort of prayer for her. As I did, an image came to mind that I later shared with her. She, too, said that she totally "got" what the image meant and asked for prayers for her family in dealing with some things.

Over & over, I recalled various times through the years that the Holy Spirit has prompted me to pray for someone out of the blue. I try to always remember to email or call or send a text or whatever to let them know I'm praying for them. Sometimes they tell me thank you & go on about their business. Other times, though, it's as if God used me to open a dam and a flood pours through them emotionally because I've touched on something that only they & God knew about. It's in those times that I feel so amazed at what God did. (Not ME!)

Today, our youth pastor preached in place of our regular pastor. He talked about fighting for the souls of our friends, family, children, coworkers, etc. Not just praying for them, but finding out specific things they're struggling with and pounding the gates of Heaven on their behalf. When I got home from church, I posted to my facebook page that I'd like to hear prayer requests. I gave my friends the opportunity to send me a private message if they'd rather not post their needs publicly on my wall. And boy did they! What an honor to be able to fight for the souls of my friends! Tonight I'm printing out the list of their needs & taking it to my Father. If you have a need you'd like me to pray for, feel free to leave me a comment or email me.

On the day of that first scenario I mentioned above with the crazy mental image that just seemed to silly, I was reminded of this awesome story that Patsy Clairmont told at a Women of Faith conference I attended several years ago. I adore Patsy and this story is one of my very favorite of hers!

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