I’m not your typical prayer warrior but there is definitely a list of people that I pray for on a regular basis. Owing to the fact that I miss a day here and there, I’m not that guy that lives and breathes prayer like some people do.
That being said, my prayer landmarks are as known as the features on my face (I’m no oil painting).
Hello small nose, Buenos Dias grey hairs and recently shaven neck-line. Howdie there male-pattern hairline and Austin Powers spectacles.
I run through the familiar list in my head as I find my regular bay in the parking lot every morning
…those who need repentance and faith; sometimes classified by generation, sometimes by family grouping, sometimes by patriarchal delineations…
…then those waking up in pain that morning – physical pain, pain from mourning, both fresh and longer term wounds, years in the past but still remembered, like scar tissue in the mirror every morning…
…then those who follow other religions…
…sometimes the prodigals.
All people the Father has a heart for.
Strange thing happened though: the week before last, I was working my way through the list, and without consciously thinking about it, I heard myself praying for my Chinese brothers and sisters being persecuted.
I hadn’t been thinking of China at the time and yet there they were in my prayer all of a sudden. It was like noticing something on my face that I’d skipped over for a long time.
And in the interim, its not like God used my prayer to re-order the geopolitical landscape in the Orient, and I’ll probably never find out, but I really think it was of God – a Holy Spirit moment.
It took on a different meaning in church the following Sunday when from the pulpit, they mentioned a fresh round of persecution for Chinese Believers by the Xi government. Naturally, we were urged to pray for our brother and sisters. I like very much that God had me offer a short prayer for them in advance of knowing what was happening.
It reinforces the idea that He knows what we’re going through. He saw the Children of Israel oppressed by the Egyptians and He sees His children being persecuted all over the world.
These Holy Spirit moments are unpredictable and authentic.
Like some random lady beaming out a 500 MW smile at me for no particular reason when I was having a rough morning (It made me remember that He smiled on me).
Like that time we skipped church on Sunday to do some time-sensitive banking and before we had to get ready, and on a whim, we put a Louie Giglio DVD on and the whole family engaged and sat still for a half hour – a miracle in and of itself.
Like the early Saturday morning I woke up and instead of putting on a DVD, I cracked on with Romans and yoghurt and was fed both nutritionally and spiritually.
Holy Spirit moments.