I always look forward to going to Menlo Presbyterian church and standing up for Prayer Service afterwards. It is absolutely one of my favorite things to do in life. I feel called to the service tremendously. It’s not even a choice, just something God has made a placeholder for me.
I’m making that a marker now –a standard– for all my activities in my life. Do I want to “run with joy” to the activity because I can’t wait? Because it feels so much that God is leading me in this purpose for myself, for others?
In those circumstances, we can love the most and feel loved the most. As I pray for many people who are both positive and troubled, I feel a blessing washing over me too. Sometimes I feel it is a gloriously selfish endeavor in which I am involved 🙂
Here is my revelation of what happened last Sunday.
I am still beaming because it shows that God is so good, and as my father says, “God often answers prayers immediately.”
Pray Before You are Approached
After the service, I stand up by the Prayer banner with my other companions. I try to look out at the church, and even if I have not been approached, start praying and stay receptive in prayer. I silence my thought, “tuning it” to hear God’s word. I don’t know what is going to be requested of me in prayer so I want to make sure I am connecting with God from the moment I stand up there, ready to listen and respond from God’s word. I am simply his reflection.
Let the Person Choose You
It is important in this role is to allow the person to choose you. It doesn’t matter to me; I am just waiting to see with whom that person is called to speak. That is when prayer is most effective.
A Divine Connection
A lovely woman approached me this Sunday. She said, “I’ve never done this before, and I didn’t really know if I should, but after today’s rousing sermon (it was on Justice and Serving), I thought “I’m going to go up and ask for help.'”
I watched her beaming eyes as she poured out her heart: “I’m in a job I appreciate, I work at Google and it’s actually amazing how flexible they are with their time. I can come when I want, I can leave when I want and they give me the greatest benefits. I do like it very much.”
“But my heart is in human rights. I’ve studied it, I have my degree in it, and I’ve thought to myself, ‘Am I selling myself here? Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing?’ It’s hard to let go of my position, but I am wondering if I’m really doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life… I am also a planner, I have my 5-year plans and so I am also questioning, ‘Is what I am doing God’s plan?'”
“I thought about going back and getting a Ph.D. in human rights but then I think ‘Am I going to be around all these upper echelon people and again, isolating myself from the issues at hand?”
As I listened to her speak, God dropped this thought in my head,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end”
As we prayed together, I started with that verse.
“Dear Father, the only plan that counts and the only one taking place is Your’s, Father.
You know the plans, and they give an expected end. How exciting this woman comes forward seeking to serve greatly in what You’re doing. It’s Your plan for her, she’s listening, Father. She came up this morning to receive a blessing. Father, we pray that your plans take place in not only in Kathy’s* life but in everyone’s life in how she will bless the world.
We pray that she continues to listen to find how she should best serve. Bless her for her not taking her current employment for granted, which sounds wonderful. At the same time Father, we know Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil” and that is exactly what Your Bible verse says ‘I know the thoughts I have towards you, plans of good and not of evil to give you an expected end.”
Our God is so amazing, I can not believe that He led me to remember Jeremiah as well as the synergy with Google’s motto. It was something that one can never create by human intervention.
When you pray for other people, sometimes they come out of it very peacefully; other times they appear to be troubled, or cry, or seem traumatized. Sometimes there’s simply a general malaise that won’t seem to go away.
Then you find people who have that clarity. They know they have heard the word of God, drinking it in, a clear vessel. Kathy was that way. She said, “This has helped me so much. Thank you, thank you, I will keep listening.”
I hesitated for a moment for my job is to be a prayer servant at Menlo Press but I said, “… I hesitate to say this… but you chose me for a reason. I happen to work at an organization that focuses on global poverty which includes feeding children, education, micro-finance, helping women in businesses…and human rights. If you would like to know more, I can share, and also provide introductions in human rights, for this may be something of interest to you.”
Her face sparkled again. She took a step back. She said, “I just got chills. I can’t believe this is happening.”
I said, ” Let’s bless God, for this is not by chance. Let’s not be surprised, because this is natural. God is bringing the right people together at the right time.”
What is so beautiful is that she thinks she may be able to volunteer at UniversalGiving, since Google is so flexible. Regardless, I will put her in touch with the people who will help her on her journey in whatever manifestation that may be.
Get Ourselves Out of the Way: Get our Minds in the Presence of Jesus
What I love so much about prayer is that we get ourselves out of the way. It really doesn’t matter the outcome on the human level because God already has that in control. What we’re doing is getting our thoughts in line with God’s, getting our minds in the presence of Jesus. That’s when life is just wonderful. We get in line with God and he will take care of everything, orchestrate our lives.
Sometimes, we seem to come at it differently. We say, “Here are my plans and I’m going to pass them by you Father.” Instead, we need to ask “What are His plans?” and simply listen. It’s a simpler process. I’m learning this too.
*Pamela Hawley is on the Prayer Team at Menlo Church and loves it. She hopes never to miss it!