One of the things that God convicted me of while I was in Montana was that I was I was spending way too much time praying for folks IN the church and not enough time praying for folks OUTSIDE the church. As a lot of folks can testify, it is easy to slide into a routine focused around one’s church family without really noticing it…
To help break this complacency, I decided was told by Jesus to start going down to God’s Community Pantry and praying for folks at least once a month if not more. Not wanting to wait too long (i.e. the Holy Spirit was on my case), I showed up at the pantry this past Saturday and volunteered to pray with folks, carry boxes or whatever else they needed to have done.
At first I was a tad nervous and a little bit out of my comfort zone (which was all the more reason why I needed to go down there!)…but as the day went on, I warmed up and had a great time hanging out with some awesome people and was totally blessed! In fact, I can’t wait to get back down there and say ‘hi’ to some of my new friends. 🙂
One cool experience I had that day involved a gentlemen whose had very little movement in his shoulder and was in constant pain. I prayed a real simple prayer over him, asking the Lord to embarrass him with His love while commanding the pain to be gone. Afterward I asked him how the pain was – as in, if the pain was at a 10 before we started praying, where was it after we prayed. He said it was at a 8 – which is great! The pain is going away…
Seeing that God was working, I asked if I could pray for him again and did so after he affirmed that I could. However after this prayer instead of giving me a number he looked at me and asked, “What are you doing to me?!! I feel like my shoulder is getting hot and it’s going down my arm!!”
For those who haven’t experienced this before, have heat starts in one place and move down a limp or throughout one’s body is one of the signs that God has showed up. Note that I’m not talking about getting hot because you are exercising or jumping up and down – I’m talking about an unexplained heat that shows up even when it is freezing cold.
After I explained this to the gentlemen, I asked him if we could prayer for this shoulder again as he was getting some movement back in it… understandably however he got nervous and walked off while rubbing his shoulder. This experience served as a good reminder that if you are not used to the presence of God, it can be quite scary as God is pretty big and works outside the way we usually see the world.
Pretty powerful stuff… and this is just the beginning as Jesus is kicking us out of the nest and encouraging us as a church fellowship to go out into the street and start praying and loving people. I don’t really know what this looks like…but I know that we need to do it… Come Lord Jesus, come.