I’ve been praying for divine encounters. The more I read the gospels, the more I am compelled by this idea of walking out my front door and being a hands-on, praying Jesus nut.
Oh….life. I told the Lord in my quiet time today (that consisted of me sitting on my couch amidst PILES of laundry, a sink with dirty dishes and some random bag of rocks my 5 year old brought in *sigh*) that I feel like I’m constantly running and juggling.
Running from one thing to the next, while juggling what feels like a weight of random responsibilities. I told him I feel like a circus act.
A running, juggling circus act.
It’s not something I want to admit, but it’s true. It’s difficult for me to say NO to the pile of laundry, the dishes and the rocks that MUST be cleaned, organized and put somewhere (maybe I should go on pintrest and look for some rock collection ideas…then I can go to the craft store and get that done while they are at school – in between cleaning out my filthy van from the milk spill last night and the gross pair of soccer socks stinking in the back – SEE!? THERE I GO AGAIN! For the love.)
So, while talking with the Lord, I turn a few pages back in my journal to my prayer list:
And there I saw it: divine encounters. I then remembered what happened last night in the middle of my crazy, chaotic juggling act.
I was at my girls’ ballet class, in the dressing room trying to change them for their next class, while my baby was crawling around the floor trying to put pencils in her mouth (I swear, there were a MILLION pencils in that room).
Another mom walked in, just as my girls left, and closed the door behind her. She sat down across from me and simply said, I need prayer.
She had a desperate look in her eyes as she told me about a friend who had hurt her nearly 6 months ago. She told me what they did and how wrong it was. She admitted she knew she needed to let it go and forgive, but she just couldn’t. She said she thought about this person ALL THE TIME. She couldn’t stop. All she wanted was to be free.
As I listened to this sweet woman’s story of anger and hurt, the juggling act stopped. All that mattered in that window of time was her soul…her wounded soul.
My attention shifted from my crazy day (and pencil eating baby) towards intently listening to what the Lord wanted me to do.
Listened some more.
I then asked if I could pray for her (I knew the Lord wanted me to do something else, but I had to break the ice).
I scooted close to her and prayed. Thanking Him for everything he was doing in this woman’s heart and the healing that he was going to bring.
When I finished I looked at her and gently said,
Now, I need you to pray for them.
Jesus tells us to pray for those who persecute us. I will sit here with you, but I need you to pray for them.
Well, I have been praying that God would move them away from us…
No, that’s a prayer focused on you. I want you to pray focusing on them.
She looked down and her hands began to tremble.
I put my hand on her back and said,
You can do this. Make your mouth say the words even though you don’t want to. It will get easier, I promise.
It was bumpy at first.
But, before she knew it, she was interceeding on this person’s behalf. And not just for this person, but for their ENTIRE family!
When she finished, she looked like she had run a marathon.
Do you know what you just did?! You yanked a bitter root out of your heart. And, like weeds that are overgrown, it can be a struggle to pull them out. But, you kept pulling and you conquered it!
THIS is how you keep your heart free from bitterness creeping back in. EVERY TIME you think about them, make yourself pray for them. Just like you did today. Over time, it does get easier and before you know it, your perspective of them WILL CHANGE. You’ll see them the way Jesus does. And instead of praying like a victim on the defense, you’ll be praying offensively. Fighting for them in your prayers. THIS is when freedom comes.
Just then, floods of kids came into the changing room and we went our separate ways. But, I couldn’t help but notice how perfectly timed that was. It was as though heaven hit the pause button just long enough for our paths to cross and for the enemy to be stopped.
A divine encounter.
In the middle of my circus act.
It was easy.
It was awesome.
I’m beginning to understand how this gospel preaching thing works….unlike anything else I’ve been a part of, the best work happens when you aren’t working at all. When you allow him to set your schedule and handle your appointments, the work just shows up without you doing anything other than being completely surrendered to Him.
On a side note, if that forgiveness issue tugged at your heart, I’d encourage you to check out my podcast, The Forgiveness Project Series here. (There are 8 messages; just make sure you start at the first one. And, I reference my book a lot in the series, which can be found here).
Keep praying for divine encounters!!