Some years ago, I was in prayer when a burden for a teenager in the youth group came upon me. Let’s call the teen “Joe.” it was very nearly overwhelming and this burden would not relinquish its hold on my soul. After nearly an hour of prayer, it became clear that I needed to go and visit the teenager at his school immediately. Ii phoned my wife, who told me that she concurred with the action, and so I began to drive—about forty-five minutes from the church office. All the way, the burden of prayer grew more profound, until I was given a word for the young man. It was such a simple word that I questioned the whole trip. After all, it was something we heard every Sunday. I was to tell him that Jesus loved him!
I walked into the school and there was the very boy standing right by the entrance of the building by the office door. He saw me and very nearly fell over with surprise.
He said, “What are you doing here?”
I walked up to him and told him, “Joe, I need to tell you that you are profoundly loved of the Lord. He has commanded me to find you this morning to tell you that Jesus loves you.”
He broke down and began to sob. Joe told me he couldn’t believe that I had just said that. Then he started to thank the Lord, right in the hallway.
What I didn’t know was his side of the story. Joe went on to tell me that he had been going through a horrible crisis of faith, rooted in the fact that he had suffered some terrible things. It was so very bad that he didn’t know if he believed in the love of God at all. And if God wasn’t love, he didn’t want Him. In fact, he rose that morning and from the depths of despair told God that he didn’t believe He loved him at all. Then he cried out from his soul, asking the Lord to send someone to tell him that He loved him, or he was going to take his life.
That was the moment my prayer burden for Joe began.
We saw the Lord’s glory. He heard his prayer. I heard His prompting and obeyed what I was given. The teenager understood that the Lord loved him and we discovered that we were one, not in all that we thought or said or did. Rather we were one in that we shared the presence and the power of the Lord profoundly. When we obey the promptings of the Lord that we are given, we taste a little bit of heaven here on earth and can say, “yours is the glory, forever!”
Lord of Glory, I wonder how many times You have prompted me to pray for someone, or instructed me to speak a word into someone’s life, and I have disobeyed You. My soul cringes at the thought of lost opportunities to impact others with Your love for the sake of Your glory! Thank You for using ordinary people like me to reach into the hearts of lost and hurting people, and help my heart to be open and prepared to respond with first-time obedience whenever You feel led to use me.
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise the one who is before all things, the one in whom all things hold together, the head of the church (Col. 1:17-18). Thank Christ for making peace between you and God by his blood shed on the cross. Confess those times when you have allowed something to come between you and another believer, weakening your unity in Christ. Commit yourself to seeking better understanding of that person’s position and feelings. Ask God to help you see the unity that exists between all followers of Christ.
Pray for unbelievers in the media. Ask that God may allow them to see such unity in the church that they will have to acknowledge the reality of Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:23).
“Make prayer the time to give yourself this day as a gift to God.” —The Praying Church Sourcebook
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.