Got a call last night from a dear brother in Christ, he's a pastor in Connecticut, among other things. Anyway, I listened to his voicemail this morning, it was him praying for me and for my family for three minutes and it changed my whole day, maybe more.
As I listened to it, my spirit leaped--what he was saying was not him just saying stuff, it wasn't a normal prayer, it stirred something inside me deeply, it changed my day.
And this particular brother has a habit of doing this. I literally have received so many calls from him (and humorously 9 out of 10 go to voicemail) that it quickly ate up all my voicemail space. These voicemails are such a treasure that I opened a Dropbox storage account just to save them.
By the way, often his voicemails go beyond the three minute limit per message for 2, 3, even 10 messages in a row. He's someone who is praying in the Holy Spirit, he's sharing real truth, and that's why these gems are so valuable to me that I save them and go back and listen to them.
I have dozens of messages like this, not just from this one brother, but others too. Am I sharing this because I'm special and want to rub it in your face? Not at all.
I'm sharing this because I believe this is supposed to be the common experience for the Christian living in fellowship of the church body. And just going to church doesn't guarantee you this experience. In fact, I'm just coming off a year when Whitney and I were searching for a church where, in some ways, these kinds of calls from brothers was a big part of what church meant to me.
The reality is that these calls, the timing, the words that are spoken, knowing that God is putting you on the mind of someone else at just the right time, they become deeply touching evidence about how real and good God really is.
So what do you do if this isn't happening for you? Here's what I propose:
1. Hang around other people who want to pray. Maybe the're at your church, a Bible study, it could be anywhere. Listen for clues that they might be praying and offer to join them. You'll find that many churches have prayer as part of their regular routine.
2. Don't be discouraged if/when you don't start getting calls from people praying for you. The sad reality is that most people are overcommitted and don't actually pray for themselves, let alone other people.
3. Start to pray for other people that are around you. And pray that God would put people in your life to pray for you.
4. Keep your eyes and ears open. Sometimes God sends us people but they don't look like what we'd expect and we miss it. Look for opportunities to connect with people who want to give and receive prayer.
5. Ask for prayer. Humble yourself enough to share details about what's going on in your life, be vulnerable and ask for prayer.
As you put yourself out there, and forge new and deeper relationships, undoubtedly over time, God is going to start putting people around you that are praying for you, and God is going to use those people to show you how incredible he is, and its going to change your life.