Monday, November 24, 2008

When opportunity whispers

Opportunities come and go. Sometimes I am well aware of them, other times they present themselves and I wouldn't know one if it hit me in the mouth.

In my continuing quest for all things Christ, opportunities come and go, too. Sometimes they come at "opportune" times, other times they come when we least expect them. Sometimes they are incredibly visible and come through a bullhorn, other times they come in a whisper.

In recent days I have been challenged in a couple of areas in my walk - both part of the quest. One area in which I have been challenged of late is to be intentional in my pursuit of Christ. To read, pray, worship and commune with Him and others as often as I can.

Additionally, as I near the end of a book called "The Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard, the message of not just hearing or reading the Word, but to also be a "doer" of the Word, has become increasingly clear.

I need to retreat here just a touch. I am a morning person - I love the early morning hours. I used to be able to get more done at work between 6 and 9 a.m. then I would the rest of the day. As my quest for Christ has sped up, I have had some of my most amazing times with Him in the dark, at 5 or 6 a.m. where I used to spend those hours working.

Several months ago I was delivered what felt like a knockout blow. I would get out of bed in the morning more tired than when I climbed in - so I had a sleep apnea test done and now get to sleep with one of them-there masks. For some it is the answer, it cures the sleep problem. It still really hasn't for me, but this weekend I believe I may have an answer as to why.

In this continuing quest, where being intentional and being a hearer and doer become intertwined, I found myself awakened frequently on Friday night - opportunities missed. Saturday morning, though, it was as if a light went on and I decided to seize those opportunities and to simply pray.

Sure enough, opportunity came knocking again Saturday night. On at least four occasions I found myself lying in bed, mask attached and operational, but engaged at times during the night with Jesus in prayer. Two different couples came to mind on two different occasions - so I prayed for two different couples I am acquainted with twice during the night on a leading from the Spirit. It wasn't through the bullhorn that the opportunity presented itself, but rather in a whisper in the dark of the night.

Isaiah 62: 6-7 (The Message) reads this way:
I've posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem. Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out, reminding God to remember. They are to give him no peace until he does what he said, until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.

Apparently, God calls people to pray - day or night, to keep at it - to remind Him not to forget about the lives of people here on earth.

And sometimes, when He really wants to reveal Himself, the blessings are made known immediately. Sunday morning, one of the couples I had prayed for walked into the former bowling alley-turned banquet hall where we hold church. Sitting there visiting with my folks who were visiting, I was drawn to another table where that couple was sitting. They began to share their desire for growth, to dive into the Word and for more interaction with a community of people wanting more and more of God - and the wrestling match they find themselves in. I sat there listening, eventually telling them how God had whispered to me in my sleep and made them visibly clear to me and how I had prayed for them.


I also emailed the other couple to tell them I wasn't sure why, but I had been awakened to pray for them. This morning he replied to that email that they had taken their son who is eight weeks old the ER during the night, only to have him better by the time they saw the doctor!


I convey this piece today for one reason - to spur each of you on in your walk with Christ. To follow his leadings. To stand watch on the wall, day and night, not missing an opportunity to pray. I pray we are people who day and night "keep at it, praying, calling out, reminding God to remember. They are to give him no peace until he does what he said, until he makes (our towns) famous as the City of Praise."

It isn't everyday that God will give instant gratification, but I think He knows that I need it once in a while and that in-so-doing, I will be a lot less likely to miss the next opportunity.

I love to sleep, but I believe my prayer, right now, is that He wakes me again tonight so that I might pray for whoever it is He brings before me. May I be ready again tonight or tomorrow night when opportunity whispers in the wee hours of the morning!


janelle said...

Thanks for sharing! I pray that you receive many more oppotunities to pray and that you don't miss any of them...!!!

Jennifer Dukes Lee said...

You are a watchman ... on the wall. God bless you for your obedience.

patty said...

God is so good...and always faithful to show us ways to glorify Him through serving (in this case praying for) others!

Jenl said...

I've had this happen to me, too. It took me a little longer to figure out what was going on and start praying though! :)

I still have not heard any results from my midnight "watchman" prayers, but I have also been on the receiving end and have seen the working of His mighty hand as a result of others' prayers for me.

He is so amazing.

Wonderful blog, brother. I'll be back!