And we know that all things work together for good of those who love God, who are the called according to purpose. Romans 8:28
Sometimes things happen that just make me stop and say, “Wow God…that’s amazing”. I’ve had a couple of those events lately so I thought I’d splash a big ole ray of light into everybody's day and share them. The very best part of traveling and speaking is, hands down, the people I meet and the things I see God doing in their lives. The joy in those experiences so far outweighs the time, energy and travel it hardly seems fair.
When I do a Catholic Hospitality training one of the components of the day is teaching people to pray together with another person. The prayer is spontaneous and heartfelt and that type of prayer usually scares most folks half to death. It makes us very vulnerable and that simply isn’t a feeling lots of folks enjoy. During the training I teach participants the process, give them the basic steps and model the process. I even provide a script in case they need a back up plan. The final step is to tell them they can’t pray with anyone at their table or anyone they know or came to the conference with. We say a prayer to the Holy Spirit to help match up the prayer partners in such a way that they can connect and truly reap the power and benefit of this type of prayer. From where I stand the whole process is absolutely amazing. What begins as nervous laughter turns to a heart pouring, story sharing and very often life changing experience. I’m always amazed at the power that swallows the room and the peace that blankets the participants. God always does amazing work but there have been three extremely powerful stories from this fall that I got permission to share with all of you.
The first story happened when two young women found each others gaze from across a crowd of more than 75 people. They sat together and introduced themselves, and as instructed, they talked about the things going on in their life that they needed prayer for. These two women soon drifted into a world all of their own. I could tell something beautiful was happening and they shared with me later that they couldn’t believe what God had done for them. Each of these two women had very recently suffered the pain and heartbreak of a miscarriage. They prayed with each other and drew each other to the comfort of Jesus in a way nobody else in the room could have done. They left that day with a beautiful sister in Christ to support them along the way of this difficult journey and they made plans to call each other twice a week to pray together and check up on the other. How does that happen?
The second story was the tale of two grandmas. These two strangers came together to pray and in a very short time discovered that they shared the same birthday, the same number of children and grandkids, and the same first name. As they began talking about their prayer needs they found those as identical as the other details they’d discussed. They prayed together with the closeness of long lost sisters and vowed that day to pray not only for their own kids and grandkids but they agreed to pray for the others kids and grandkids by name as well. What are the odds?
The third story involves something almost too amazing to believe. In a crowd of more than 100 people God did something truly powerful. After most of the crowd had settled in with their partner to pray, I noticed a woman all alone at a table in the back of the room on her phone. It turns out she had been in the rest room during the instructions so she just slipped back into the room and sat down hoping nobody would notice her. There happened to be a gentlemen still looking for a partner in the corner of the room and he spotted her, and sat down next to her and asked if they could pray together. At the end of the conference she came up in tears to tell me her story and explain why it had been such a tremendous blessing. She shared that two years ago she was going through a really rough time. During this rough time she was in a car accident and didn’t have the means to repair her car so she purchased a “hunk of junk on 4 wheels” to get her by. One morning the car just stopped in the middle of heavy Detroit morning traffic and everyone who sped by just yelled and honked at her but nobody offered to help. Finally as she was just about to fall to pieces a man approached her car and offered to help. He pushed her car off the road and drove her to work. She was so touched and blessed by his kindness and helpfulness but never really got to properly thank him and let him know how much his actions were appreciated at that really low spot in her life. In a way only God can manage, the man who was the last person to find a partner; the man who tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to pray was the same man who had stopped to help her two years earlier. How does that happen?
If you are going through something tough and you wonder if God is really listening and noticing; I hope these stories give you a blast of sunny hope because he is busy doing things only he can do…and believe me; you just can’t make this stuff up!
A Seed To Plant: Take some time to reach out to someone today and ask them if there is anything they need prayer for.
Blessings on your day!
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