I watched NCIS for many years. One iconic moment from the show occurred when the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-amazing boss, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, would slap the goofball, Tony Dinozzo on the back of the head because he yet again did something mindless, ridiculous, or just plain stupid. It became a moment when the usually distant Gibbs would make a connection with Dinozzo that he very obviously craved. The writers of the show seemed to create situations in which Dinozzo would do the very thing that he knew would earn him that slap on the back of the head, other times it was completely unprovoked.
Christians typically say that they don’t believe in a true coincidence. If God directs our steps, then a coincidence is God directing paths to cross that we never expected. I had one of those God moments recently – the Dinozzo slap that reminded me that He is here, He knows me, and He has a plan for my day, every day.
It has been my desire to get closer to God through regular Bible reading and prayer – novel idea, I know! – but that has always been a struggle for me. Now that I work from home, I can create my day and that plan begins with my time with God. I completed the 21 Days of Prayer challenge from my church, and I had begun a little devotional through Ephesians… a few verses a day with a thought.
Stay with me now… I am active on social media… and I follow Beth Moore (Bible teacher/speaker) on Twitter. As I mindlessly scrolled through my Twitter feed, I stopped to read Beth’s tweets – she cannot be contained in a certain number of characters, so a Tweet thread it is –
“You don’t have to have a theology degree, you don’t have to be ordained, you don’t have to work at a church or ministry, you don’t have to leave your house, you don’t have to be young, you don’t have to be old, you don’t have to have money, social media influence or special permission to serve – to be of incalculable use – in one of the most desperately needed, deeply wanted, and biblically sanctioned ways on earth: praying for people. Several years ago, we started opening the doors at Living Proof at the Tuesday noon hour for anyone who needed prayer. We literally put out an old school sign “Need prayer?” on the side of the road by our building. And people came. Thus began one of the most grounding, holy things we’ve ever done in the existence of Living Proof Ministries. We’ve had to go to phones and zooms during this pandemic, but it only served to broaden the number of people we could receive over that prayer hour. Every week at 1:15 as our prayer hour ends, I want to say on here what it has meant to us. How in touch it has kept us with people. What it has done done for the ministry in such difficult times and differing ideologies. No matter how we may vary on this issue or that, our hearts, minds, and souls are utterly united in one purpose as we serve people in need of prayer in the great and holy and saving and healing and delivering and abundant life-giving name of Jesus. Talk about something that will strip down some pettiness, competitiveness, cynicism about the church and the body of Christ, superficially, quarreling over tertiary issues and a good bit of pride and meanness, start listening to people share their needs then pray for them. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Your prayers aren’t heard based on their quality or quantity but based on the access you have to the very throne of grace by the blood of Jesus, our Great High Priest. My teenage friend, Hannah, who was fearfully and wonderfully made with Downs, started her own prayer ministry based on ours. It started with a sign on her bedroom door: Need prayer? Her family members did. Then her ministry expanded to others by phone. Her ministry matters greatly. So does yours. People need prayer so badly. People are also incredibly lonely and they just want to know someone cares and someone will listen and then that same someone, who knows it’s not often within her/his power to fix it, will take it to the Lord in prayer who loves & knows that precious one intimately. Though we may not receive the answer to prayer they and we so wanted, we know God WILL be merciful and gracious and kind and loving to them and present with them. We can ask him to make his nearness and undying affection known to them. We don’t have all the answers, saints. But we can pray. And make no mistake, prayer is ministry. To them. And to us.” Beth Moore
I was convicted. I was inspired. I was also a bit apprehensive. Sure, I could put out my “Need prayer?” sign, but would anyone respond? Before thinking or overthinking about it, I just did it… on FACEBOOK! I know, right? Well, before I knew it, I had several people asking for prayer, general and specific needs. I felt the privilege of bringing these names and needs to God knowing that He knows the person, the need, the answer.
It was time to open my Bible to my app assigned passage from Ephesians for that day – Chapter 1: 15-19 – “For this reason, ever since I (Paul) heard about your (people of the church in Ephesus) faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…”
God wants me to pray… for you.<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">My sign is out. Find me on Facebook – Renee Bowen Peterson – send me a message – comment here – just let me know. I will pray for you.My sign is out. Find me on Facebook – Renee Bowen Peterson – send me a message – comment here – just let me know. I will pray for you.