In a recent post, I wrote about my desire to share the reality of God’s active presence with a few people that are dear to me. After spending much time reflecting on His presence in my life over the years, there was no doubt of it’s value and how it strengthened my faith, even in the most difficult times. I wanted to be able to share with them the knowledge, the experience, and the treasure of the Lord’s presence. I did not know how to do it at first, so instead, I did what any other God fearing christian does when they just do not know how to do something, I prayed.
It was then, as I prayed, that I had a vision. It may have been a divine vision from the Lord Himself, it may have been my own mind fashioning a solution to my plight. Ultimately, it does not matter, the vision was perfect. I was going to keep a journal, not for me, for them. It was to go beyond that though, I am to give them the gift of my time spent in prayer for them and then keep record of the whole journey. Over time, the journal will be gifted back as a written testament of His active presence in their life, witnessed and recorded by me.
My early thoughts focused on the treasure that such a gift would have been for me in my younger years, before I began walking with the Lord. The knowledge of someone committing their time to pray for me specifically, would have been gift enough, but the beautiful documentation of the evidence of His presence in my life, actively, would have been simply indescribable. Wow! Can you just imagine with me for a second what it would be like to read the historical details of answered prayers, needs being met, healing taking place, and even the little things like the Lord showing His great love for me over the simplest of things? Beautiful.
As I prayed about this gift, I realized that I was being boldly confident that God will answer prayers and meet the needs of these people that I will be bringing before Him. Now, to be clear, I am not talking about a name-it-and-claim-it journey, I am talking about genuinely praying for His will in their lives. I knew that I knew that He would show up and that He desperately loves and cares for them and it is His desire to make that known to each one of them. I needed to do my part, the rest I get to leave up to Him.
Now for the nitty gritty. Although the whole idea seemed to fall into place on it’s own, the process of bringing it to fruition left some details that would need to be figured out. I did not want this to be a surprise of sorts for these individuals that I was committing to prayer. I wanted each of them to know about the gift and also that I would be taking this journey. To me this important because it would allow the opportunity for them to be more cognizant of His active presence in their life during the journey, not just as a review through the written testament of it later. Another important detail was that I wanted their participation. Simply put, I needed them to be on this journey with me. I was going to need to be kept abreast of their daily lives to know how best to pray for them on an on-going basis and to also be able to witness how and when the Lord would show up for them. I decided to purchase a basic journal for each of them. I really wanted to create a special journal for this historical document, as I believe it would become priceless for them at some point, but I just did not have the time or the resources to make that happen before Christmas when I was going to give them the gift.
Once I purchased the journals, I spent much time in prayer over each individual recipient. I decided to write a letter and I wanted it to be personal. I think this was an important step, one not to be overlooked. I then took the time to write the individual letters right on the first pages of the journal itself. It was there that I explained the gift. I also expressed my love for them and my desire for them to witness just how valuable they are to our Heavenly Father. Each letter was as unique as each individual receiving the gift. At first, I wanted to write the same things, however the Lord led me differently, reminding me that His plans are different for each of them. There is no one-size-fits-all with His active presence in our lives, except in the matter of the gift of salvation.
On the pages following my personal letter were some leading questions for them to answer. I wanted a starting point for my prayers. I also wanted to get a glimpse at where their hearts are at and where God may decide to move. I figured that although the questions asked were the same in each journal, the nature of a leading question is that each will identify their own genuine need. I asked them (in the letter) to complete these pages, letting them know that can be as detailed or general as they want. The did not have to share details if they did not feel comfortable doing so, besides God already knows every minute detail of their life!
An example of some of the questions I wrote are as follows, each were written on the top of their own page, allowing enough room for their hearts to be shared.
I do/do not feel close to God because… If I could ask God for a miracle, it would be… I need physical healing in… The thing that worries me the most is… I wish I could… If only God would… I am scared that… I feel… I really feel like I need… If I could ask God for another miracle, it would be… If I could ask God a question, it would be… I feel happiest when… My heart has many broken pieces, some are from…
After the question pages I wrote at the top of the following page *Please write me a letter.* Then I started it for them… Dear Nancy,* I was hoping that with the opportunity for them to write me a letter I would get a chance to hear some of their heart about the whole journey.
The final instruction was for the journal to be returned to me so that I can start to pray individually and specifically. My final remarks to them were that their life was about to change!
This is an exciting journey to be on! I know that many people desire to pray for others and diligently do so. Many Christians that I know had someone praying for them long before they accepted the Lord (for me, it was my grandmother). I am often reminded that we simply forget many of the finer details of our lives that are not documented. Occasionally, we will look at old photos and see snapshots of our own personal history and I find myself exclaiming, “I forgot about that!” Without the picture to trigger my memory, that memory could have nearly vanished. If you are taking the time to pray specifically for someone, especially someone that does not recognize the Lord’s active presence in their life, consider taking this journey with me! At the very least, take the time to write down many of your prayers and the answers. It is powerful to be able to remind someone how He has been right there with them all along. At some point, I will share some of my testimony of how the Lord was actively present in my life, long before I accepted Him.
Be blessed! Change someone’s life… pray for them!