Surprised by Prayer

I come to this post with much regret.

I regret that I did not respond to the call of the Spirit into prayer, a specific prayer, this evening.  My nerves got the best of me.  I usually do not talk about the Spirit moving me to do something.  Such talk unfortunately often fits into my category of “weird.”  But not tonight.  

Tonight, I was at a prayer healing service during “Family Night” at a local church.  The service was surprising to me.  I did not think that it would be as meaningful and as powerful as it was.  About 15 of us gathered around in a circle and, simply, offered any prayers that we had.  Prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow, and everything in between were said.  Many also spoke prayers for President-Elect Obama and the incoming administration.  As I heard these prayers, I felt strongly and strangely moved to offer a prayer of my own. I say the word “strangely,” because there is no question that it was the Holy Spirit moving me toward such prayer, and I do not often speak of (or experience so strongly) the movement of the Holy Spirit within me.  

So what was I moved to pray about?  Interestingly enough, the outgoing administration.  Bush, his family, and his co-workers within the administration as they begin to think about what is in their future.  And from the looks and sounds of the United States, it seems that a lot of hate, judgment, and shame is in their future.  So as I sit in a church prayer circle, hearing prayers for our incoming administration and the disaster that they have to face, I cannot help but think of those forgotten children of God in the outgoing administration and the disaster that they have to face.  The Spirit was moving me to prayer for them.  Begging me actually.  But I didn’t.

I got to the point where I said to myself, “Okay, after the next person…then I will pray.”  I waited so long that the pastor ended up jumping in and closing the time of prayer.  After this time of prayer, we gathered at the alter to lay hands on each person as they received an anointing and  prayer from the pastor.  As I knelt before God, ashamed of my lack of courage as the 15 sets of hands lay upon me, the pastor spoke these words, “God, release Jonathan from any disease or dis-ease that is within him.”  Dis-ease indeed. And as if sucked out from the energy of those around me, the prayer-less moment moved aside revealing a new moment in which God said, “How about now?”  

So I prayed.  Not audibly, but to myself.  Those around me may not have heard it, but they, along with God, received it.  And so it continues on…

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