While we were driving the 12 hours home from Birmingham on Sunday, we decided to have “church” in our car. Joel had downloaded a couple of sermons from iTunes from Mark Batterson’s church in D.C. We listened to two of the messages from their “Journey” series back in January.
They were really challenging. The first one was about being an “influencer”. Mark challenged us to do a 30-day prayer experiment. Think of something to pray about and do it with fervence (is that a word?) and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you as you pray.
He shared a story about a friend who decided to pray for a specific country in Africa. He prayed for several weeks. One day at a dinner party, he met someone from the country he was praying for. She worked in a hospital there and he was so intrigued by everything he heard that she invited him to come and see for himself. He was baffled by the lack of medical supplies. When he returned home, he wrote to several pharmaceutical companies and asked for supplies. He was able to send a lot of money in supplies to this country! (forgive me, I can’t remember all the specifics…). Soon after, he was invited back to the country by the PRESIDENT of the country. The President showed him around the country…he gave him a personal tour! They came across a prison, where the guy asked why the prisoners were there. The President told him they were political prisoners…that they don’t agree with the President’s views, so they are in jail. The guy told him he thought it was a bad idea. Later, back in the U.S. the guy received a phone call late at night from the State Department asking him questions about his trip to the country and specifically about the prisoners. They asked the guy what he said to the President about the prisoners. He just said he told him it was a bad idea. The State Department told him that the President let the prisoners go and that they had been working for years to get him to release those prisoners…WOW!
The power of prayer! It’s amazing. What will you commit to pray for 30 days about? I’ve already picked mine, but I’m not telling until I have my story to tell!
Mark also talked about the “prophets” in our lives. Don’t be mistaken by the word prophet… a prophet is someone who “spurs spiritual growth in another person”. Like, have you ever had someone say an encouraging word to you and it was EXACTLY what you needed to hear?? He says that’s “prophetic”. He challenged us to think about the prophets in our lives. Are we prophetic to others? Do we encourage each other, or just flatter? Do we speak truth into other people’s lives?
I know who my prophets have been. If you’re on the list, you should know why you are!
- My parents
- Joel Collins
- Chris Hughes
- Doug Campbell
These people have spoken truth into my life. They have challenged me, spurred me on and kept me going in hard times. Whether it be getting through college in 3 years or buying me a guitar and telling me I could learn to play or leading worship in front of hundreds of people, or dreaming of becoming a recording artist (it’s still a dream, Doug, but I think of what you have said to me often!)….these people’s words have been branded in my soul. They may not even know it, but they have been prophets in my life.
This is something I struggle with because sometimes I encourage, but it’s not necessarily prophetic. Most of the time, I encourage people with what they want to hear. I always try to find the positive when sometimes I just need to listen and see the negative. I don’t know if that makes sense. People come to me with big problems. I’m not sure why. But I like being there for people and listening. Most of the time, I have no idea what to say to someone who has a problem. Unless I’ve been through it myself, I’m lost. So, I normally look at the bright side and say what they want to hear instead of challenging them or spurring them on. “Oh, it will be OK, you’ll see.” “God’s gonna work it out” “What can I do to help?”
Those aren’t bad things to say, but I think they’re cop-outs. What truth can I share with this person? What can I say to someone that will completely change the way they think or do things? I think it starts with my spiritual life and where I am. I have no business counseling someone or challenging them when I am messed up, too. How can I see what God wants for them when I haven’t talked to God in days? It’s really convicting.
What if I could be that person who reinforces someone’s dream of being an artist or even becoming President (that would be so cool!). How would I know unless I am connected and following Him? How would I know unless I am constantly striving to chase my dreams and follow His will?
I don’t really know the point of this post, but I thought it was challenging. Continue the conversation by commenting, if you wish!