A Centering Prayer for 2019
Paul, in Galatians 1:15-16, illuminates something that has fascinated me for some years. He says something so very simple and uncomplicated that it has resonated for quite some time. Listen as he states the nature of ministry without all of the bells and whistles:
“But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased [Isa 49:1; Jer. 1:5.] To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone” (Gal. 1:15-16, AMP).
The underlined words of this verse seemed to leap off the page, causing me to engage it in a more thoughtful and personal way: “God seeks to reveal His Son through me.” I said, out loud, to myself, “Yes, that is who I am and who I want to be.”
Preparing each of us to engage, survive, and prosper in this coming new year causes me to want to speak to you like I felt the Lord speaking this to me for my serious consideration. Our joy is to please Him.
There are specialists, both in the natural world and in the spiritual one. All of us have wondered how we could get the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit out of the church building into the hurting world. The complexity and sense of “demand” may have caused us to withdraw from our unpretentious response. Oh how badly the word of wisdom and spiritual discernment are needed in our present society.
Simply stated, I heard the Lord say something like this: stop trying to be a specialist and become child-like in allowing me to reveal Myself through you! Such admonition provides a sense of direction, assignment, and encouragement for all of us as we seek to make Him known.
It seems quite easy to become like the priest or the Levite who can travel past, the one robbed and beaten undisturbed without stopping. I experienced the Lord saying to me begin to become intentional: observe and become increasingly aware of the pain, distress, and hurting that surrounds you in the market place. This does not require prayer and fasting, simply a fresh emphasis on being aware of the possibility of God the Father being willing and eager to reveal Himself through you, right now, in some uncomplicated and unrewarded manner. All He asks is for us to be conscious of His desire and willingness. He will make the occasion or opportunity. What He is asking is that we have eyes to see that which is really happening.
This mysterious and wonderful Kingdom, one that does not come with observation, requires this type of admonition and then simple compliant response. He really does the rest! I am asking for us to begin to be aware and responsive to every quiet and unobserved opportunity for God to reveal Himself through us without fanfare or undue recognition.
Of course, there is an authentic and intimate reward of having the Lord Jesus reveal Himself through us in power and beauty. Our rejoinder is not the reward, however, but the joy of having been an instrument of Life to others. That is most pleasing to the Father whom we love and serve.
My first encounter, after having the Lord speak to me in this manner was at a Wal-Mart checkout counter. The middle-aged, female clerk was in obvious pain. What encouraged me was the fact that I was not so self-focused and time-centered that I could actually see the opportunity. Gaining the courage to respond I asked, “Are you in pain?” Instantaneously she responded, “More than you could imagine.” “May I pray for you?” She withdrew into herself. “No,” I said, “no outward demonstration. We will pray with our eyes open, quietly, and without being seen.” “Yes, please do” was her response. To my joy and her amazement, the pain relieved instantly. I finished paying my bill and departed.
Let’s open ourselves to this new spontaneity and risk. No crusade—simply give the Father opportunity to reveal His Son through us in unexpected and surprising ways.
This year Lifechangers has been able to reach multiple thousands of people through our digital and print publications, on-line videos, audio messages on Lifechangers’ website, and efforts in Uganda. This is only possible with your involvement and generous support! To continue to sort and present the reality and necessity of an internalized Kingdom, we need monthly co-workers to come along side with gifts small and large. Would you consider supporting Lifechangers on a monthly basis in 2019? We ask this with thankful hearts and much gratitude that Father has given us one another to walk this Kingdom journey.