Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bolts out of the Blue

Funny thing, prayer.

Most people have this strong aversion to it. After all, it does feel a lot like talking to yourself, doesn’t it?

But do you ever just put aside your discomfort and dive in, open your heart, tell Him like it is, give Him your concerns, be honest about your feelings and tackle the subjects that are bothering you the most?

My biggest hurdle with prayer is allowing myself the luxury of time to do it. I tell myself too often, “I have work to do. He’ll understand. He knows I have to work hard!” I open my laptop and peruse emails, Facebook, Twitter, this blog and my other blog and their stats. I make lists of things I have to do during the day and get sucked into the dithering that goes along with social networking. Before I know it, I’m headlong into the day, without giving Him much of a by your leave.

This morning, though, He made it clear that He needed to chat.

I put Neil on the school bus around 6:55 a.m., and as usual, came inside and propped my feet up on the couch, telling myself, “I’ll get to praying after I look at these emails.”

And yet, I could hear His gentle nudge at my heart. “I have things to tell you,” He said. “Come meet with Me.”

Reluctantly, I set aside the computer and grabbed my Bible, threw on a pair of sandals and went to an outside porch swing. I kicked my feet up and rocked while I flipped through pages.

I was flooded with thoughts – all of the people who needed prayer, all of the situations that needed mending and forgiveness, all of the pressure facing me in my day, all of the worries about the health of family members and about the welfare of my child who is struggling to behave in 1st grade.

I laughed out loud. Well, I live in the woods, so there really was no one to hear me laugh except Him and a few squirrels and birds.

“What am I supposed to pray?” I said. “There are so many things to discuss with You! I could be here all day! I don’t have time for this!”

Then I sat silently for about three or four minutes while He calmed my heart. “I will tell you what to pray. Ask Me,” He said.

I took a deep breath.

“OK. Tell me what to pray.”

He did.

As if a radio signal was directly transmitting His wishes into my brain, one prayer after another popped into my mind. You know when you are really hearing from Him? It’s when you perceive that the thoughts you are having DID NOT ORIGINATE WITH YOU. There is separateness about them, a direct communication going on with your Creator.

It is unmistakeable.

First He told me to pray for a friend in India, who is Hindu and who I only know through the Instant Messages that he sends me.

Then, He told me that I needed to make things right with a woman at church – a person with whom I had a disagreement a couple of weeks ago. (See earlier blog entries for that background story!) I hadn’t yet asked her forgiveness. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that it was paramount to close the door on this and humbly find her.

And finally, He told me to pray for a particular couple that Brent and I love very much. They don’t know Jesus, and we want the relationship for them desperately.

I wrapped up my prayer and headed inside to work.

As I opened my computer, an Instant Message blinked on screen. It was my friend in India!

“Hi!” I answered his greeting. “I was just praying for you!”

This surprised him greatly. The whole idea that I was praying for him – and also that I felt God TOLD me to pray for him – touched him tenderly. We chatted for a few minutes about how God had wonderful things in store for him. I knew instantly that the reason I was asked to pray for this man was so that God could tell him … He was thinking of him!

After my friend signed off, I felt God prodding me. “Call the church and find out how to get in touch with the person with whom you had the fight.”

My hands shook as I dialed.

When the receptionist answered, I told her I was trying to solve a mystery. I had to find a stranger at the church with whom I’d had a disagreement. During the argument, this stranger had shared that she served on a particular church team.

“So my question,” I said, “is that I want to find her team leader to help me identify her. I want to tell this stranger I am sorry for the fight.”

“Well,” she said, “It might be me.”

“Well …” I said, “It might be. What do you look like?”

And guess what.

It was her.

I was able to tell her in that very moment that I was sorry, ask her forgiveness and explain why I had behaved so badly.

She forgave me.

I hung up the phone, shaking my head at how God prompted that entire exchange – and had her answer the phone to boot!

Before long, I saw an email in my box. Brent located a church that was geographically near the couple for whom we are praying. He was forwarding me correspondence with the pastor of that church. And what was even more amazing … this church was nearly identical to ours! The pastor gave Brent some advice about reaching this couple. I couldn’t believe that on the day I had been prompted to pray for them, Brent’s heart had also been moved – and that he found a pastor near them who could help us reach them!

Do I need to give you any more proof?

God doesn’t only hear our prayers. If we ask Him, He will move in our hearts to pray as He wants us to pray – and for the people that He desires to reach.

Are you intimidated by prayer?

Don’t be.

He’s your best friend, after all! He wants to help you. He wants to use you.

He wants to commune with you, like a bolt out of the blue.


  1. What an encouraging post! Thank you for being obedient to God's promptings... we all need reminding of the power of prayer. Great to hear your story!!

  2. Simply AWESOME is the love of our Lord!

  3. @Sara: Thanks for visiting, Sara, and thanks for your sweet and encouraging comment!

    @levittmike: Agreed! He amazes us more times than we can count -- and then He does it again and again, just in case we didn't get the message the first time around! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  4. What a great idea you have with this blog. It started out being a safe house for Christians and just look how it has reached "round the globe" so, so quickly. I love the new lay-out. Of course, God is so near wherever and whenever. The great trick is to "pause" long enough in my busy (retired)life to hear Him ACTUALY speak to my heart..with love,peace, instructions, clear direction. Over and over again I just "sit in His Presence" and BE. What outpourings of love to little old ME. What joy. Once I grabbed hold of the fact that it is not what I DO for Him, but what HE has DONE for me, I calmed down enough to quit running around trying to do more and more for God. Just soaking in His Presence is ENOUGH! Praise Him!

  5. It's amazing how often God speaks if we bother to listen. Tremendous story, very encouraging ...

  6. Thank you so much, Prodigal. Your note is encouraging to me!