Yesterday after church, I was sharing with a friend about a beautiful encounter I had on Friday night. I met up with three friends for a coffee and a chat we finished our evening by grabbing hands and praying for each other our families and our circumstances.
As I told my friend about what I experienced, I said ” God really showed up” to which he questioned me what do you mean God really showed up? Surely God is always there!
He was right! God is always there. Who really showed up was my friends and me! We decided together as a group, we would seek God in our time together in prayer. It was precious, uplighting and empowering. And for one who doesn’t get overly emotional in these circumstances, I was the one left with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat overwhelmed by the whole experience.
I went home and got into bed, and well, I couldn’t sleep. I was buzzing, all fire up and feeling filled up and fully loved by God after this fantastic encounter.
I was a bit reluctant to share my experience in this post because I don’t want to come across boastful and I don’t want you to think this is super-spiritual. Because the truth is, the experience I had is available to all believers. That is why sharing this because I want to encourage all believers to seek this.
Recently I’ve started the practice of asking where Jesus is in the room. In various situations and circumstances and especially in those I’m new too. Ironically in my friend’s house on Friday night, I didn’t ask God that question directly, but In my mind, before we started to pray I thought to myself, I wonder where Jesus is in the room. When we began to pray as I closed my eyes, I instantly got an image of Jesus standing in the room by the Christmas tree. Now, to be honest, I can not describe any one particular feature on his face or body, I can’t explain what he was wearing or height he was. But I know the man I could see in my vision was Jesus he was standing by the Christmas tree in the room I was in. And he had a great big smile on his face, and he was absolutely loving what we were doing. I knew It was bringing him so much joy. Of all the visions and pictures I’ve had ever had, this has to be the best. What an image of My lord and saviour taking such delight in us.
Clearly, this is not a usual experience for me. I could probably count on my fingers and amount of times I have had visions, I do get dreams and words but an actual vision of Jesus; this is only the second time. I feel God has been showing me over the past few days that this should be a perfectly normal thing to experience when you seek God’s face in prayer. In fact, what I think is abnormal about this, is this encounter was such a highlight of my week. I believe that this kind of encounter should be something we regularly experience, daily even.
Would it make a difference in our life if we seek God first in all we do not just in special prayer time?
What if… when a friend was sharing their problems over a coffee that the first go to before offering any advice is that you offered to pray and invite God into that situation.
What if… when we are typing an important email for work and struggle to find the words we invite god into it.
What if… when celebrating a friend’s new job the automatic thing was to take a minute to thank God in prayer.
What if … seeking God in prayer didn’t have to look like head bowed and the pastor praying in church or on your in your prayer meeting or before study group.
What if… it looked like a couple of girls sitting over a coffee or grabbing your fellow believer at work and saying let’s pray about this tension in the office.
What if… your first response to your heartbroken child dealing with bullying is let’s ask God into this.
What if… we developed the habit of taking everything to God in prayer no matter where we are.
What if… we always turned up for God and seek him first instead of waiting for this exhilarating one-off experiences.
I know in the past, I have almost felt embarrassed to pray in front of others. I felt i would stumble over my words and not sound eloquent enough. But I got over that. See God already knows what I sound like when I talk to him, and if my friends are assessing my ability to sound eloquent during prayer. That’s their problem, not mine. But I recognise this is a fear for some.
However, I know that I know these encounters are available for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have been a Christian for fifty years or fifty minutes. It doesn’t matter what “domination” you belong to. It doesn’t even matter what version of the Bible you read from.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.”– Charles Spurgeon