Tuesday, May 10, 2011

People Who Pray

Have you ever underestimated the power of prayer? Here’s a shocker: I have! I imagine I have too many such occasions to name. I realize that part of my testimony now has to include many people, both known and unknown, who have prayed for me.

20 years ago when I finally got up the courage to talk with my dad about my calling to ministry, it was another moment to discover the prayers offered up by the children of God. After asking several questions about what I was feeling and understanding about being called, Daddy told me, "Son, you don’t know this, but this is something I have been praying about for you for a long time." Today, I am still finding out what that means.

Recently, at the KAIROS weekend at Allendale Correctional Institution, I was blessed again to pray for others and pray with others. While the KAIROS ministry was happening inside the prison, countless volunteers on the outside were lifting us up in prayer. People signed up to pray around the clock to cover every moment of our ministry with prayer.

On Friday morning of KAIROS, I was on the program to give a talk about this very subject, a word of encouragement to the residents that they were not alone–people were praying for them. To make this matter a little intriguing, I had forgotten that I was on the schedule. Fellow KAIROS team members greeting me first thing that morning offering to assist with the talk, to which I replied, "What talk?" Once we got that settled, I had plenty of time to get ready, and still plenty of willing helpers in my colleagues.

The time for the talk came around, and I walked toward the community room. Just before I got to the door, a friend named John caught me and asked, "You wanna pray?" I thought he said, "You gonna pray?" I replied, "Yeah, the talk outline says I’m supposed to lead the group in the prayer on page 11 in the prayer book." John was confused for a couple seconds, then he replied, "That’s good, and would you like to pray with me before you go in and do the talk?"

John and I prayed together before the talk. I am glad we did. It was a spiritual help to me. While I was speaking, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room with us. I was able to see the faces of a number of prisoners who were being blessed by what I had to say. When I finished the talk, guess what? John and I prayed together again. We offered up a lot of thanksgivings and prayed for more of the outpouring of God’s spirit while we ministered together with our fellow team members and the residents at the prison.

I am certain that I will have more stories to tell about being surprised by answered prayers and the hearts of the people who have offered them. Some very powerful words of ministry which we can give each other are, "May I pray with you?" and "Will you pray for me?". Amen.

Peace to you,

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