OK, before I write the characteristic for this week, I would like to take some time to thank the person who has been praying for me, or people, if there are more than one.
I hope that I’m not just flattering myself immensely, but I simply can’t help feeling that someone is looking out for me in prayer. And not just “someone”, but someone spiritually serious and watchful. It’s always hard to explain why I would feel this, but I will try my best.
Sometimes something will just “drop” into my spirit “randomly”. When I say “something”, I mean an idea, a notion, an understanding that might clarify something that I always took for granted. Or it might be a radical new perspective on an area in which I thought I was right. Then I will ask myself – where exactly did that thought come from? I guess it could be the Spirit of God Himself. However, this is the same Spirit of God that I have always walked with, and sometimes these impressions will come at a rate that is not related to my prayer life or my intimacy with God….That is, my prayer life remains constant, but sometimes, for no apparent reason, these impressions speed up…or they slow down. If it were God Himself, then would these not remain constant, or just speed up?
Now the fact is that, either way, these impressions DO come from God. It’s just that I can discern a difference between impressions that I get, when it is only myself and God, and impressions I get when there is a concerned 3rd party interceding for me.
Also, these ideas can be so targetted and precise! I know that God is a God of precision. However, would He not be working on all of my character to gradually form me into the image of Jesus? And yet, sometimes these ideas will hit with such clarity that I can almost state exactly what someone might have prayed.
For these reasons, I conclude that there might be a third party involved who is praying these things for me.
For instance, recently I was just happily doing something and thinking quite happily about a previous blog post (on my Bible blog), and then all of a sudden, I was struck with the impression that this blog post had been quite ungracious and ungentle, and it was as if my eyes were suddenly opened to the importance of gentleness. Now gentleness is one of my spiritual blind spots. It is something that as a person I might pay lip service to, but I have never really understood. I was born aggressive*, and frankly quite LIKE my forthrightness of character. I never understand why people say “I think”, or use words like “perhaps” … “maybe” … “possibly” … “I’m not sure…” when I would say: “It is quite obviously the case” … “definitely” … “emphatically” … “non-negotiably” or simply “no!” . And this is another thing that makes me think that these impressions are due to someone else’s prayer. That is, it is as if someone were observing my obvious weaknesses and then going to God about them in prayer. If it were God, then He would send impressions not only about my weak areas, but also about my strengths, how to grow stronger in those, or showing me that really, I am not at all as strong as I think. (And God does send impressions and minister directly to my heart, all the time!)
So after this “gentleness hit”, I was suddenly thinking: “Gentleness, Tosin, grace!” Now you need to understand how uncharacteristic this is for me!
Furthermore, I think it is someone serious because it takes spiritual commitment to pray for someone else. It takes an understanding of God, and a committed belief in the power of prayer. It also has to be someone who genuinely understands the importance of gentleness for instance, or any other thing that they have prayed for me – otherwise they would not pray it.
I always think to myself that if someone does not pray for themselves, then they will not pray for you – or they will not be able to sustain it. I am inclined to think that it is an individual rather than a number of people because I just don’t think I know so many truly serious Christians. And why would a number of people all randomly start praying for me, at the same time, when they have never felt compelled to pray for me before? God is the same God, I am the same me, so what could have changed? It is a lot easier to believe that there is one main person behind it.
So honestly, these are a few of the reasons why I feel that someone must be praying – and all I can say is “thank you” – thank you so much! Honestly, prayer is the most precious gift that anyone could give me, and I am so so grateful. It feels so good to be prayed for, and I am trying hard not to take it for granted, in case it suddenly stops.
Now the next question is: “Who could be praying for me?” You know what, I think I know who it is. In fact, I am SURE I know who it is. Thinking of these different factors – who do I know who is spiritually serious, and committed enough to pray seriously? Who do I know who puts God first? Whom have I seen watching me and observing my weaknesses? Whose strong points correspond to the unusual impressions I receive in my spirit? Who would care enough? Why would they care? Thinking of the questions this way, the identity of the mystery pray-er to me seems SO OBVIOUS. However, I may be wrong… but I hope I’m not. The only thing I can do in response is to pray back. So if you feel “impressions” that correspond to my own strengths, then you know who is praying for you. 😉
*I sincerely was born aggressive. There is a story in my family about how my older sister was listening to my Mum’s tummy while she was pregnant with me. And needless to say, I chose that moment to kick from within my Mum’s tummy. That is so me, and in the intervening years, I have not changed a bit! 😉
…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…
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