Pray With Anybody Anytime (7.23.12)
"My savior lives inside of me, all I have to do is set him free" goes the gospel tune.
It took a bike vacation to remind me once again to work like Jesus worked.
He travelled the countryside meeting people, and praying for them.
Folks didn't need to go through an appointment clerk, or send a series of e-mails, or wait for a call back. Or come to a well-appointed office or sanctuary (not that these are bad).
Jesus was there for folks, outside the Temple ritual, outside the church service. Ready to minister wherever he was, for anybody in need, anytime day or night.
The streamlined gospel of Mark begins with a rapid series of his bold and public miracles, and a healing on the sabbath, and picking apostles.
All these were provocative acts of a courageous public faith, whereupon Jesus' first critics said "he has an unclean spirit." (Mark 3,30)
And with this criticism ringing in their ears Jesus' mother and brothers are looking for him (Mark 3,32), thinking perhaps he's gotten carried away. They apparently want to slow him down, hoping He'll give it a rest, and spare himself the shame of being so bold in public.
At that point, they didn't want a Holy Roller relative! (until they were sick anyway)
But Jesus ignored them publicly, and went right on preaching and praying in the same bold ways.
It also has struck me of late that when Jesus prayed with folks he didn't ask a lot of nosy questions like to what religious group they belonged, or whether they were initiated in such and such a way, or what their chief sin was, and their stance on the do dos and the don't don'ts of religion.
Nor did he threw out a lot of confusing church concepts that make for real goofy conversation.
Instead he just went right into a prayer of faith: "get up and come forward" he told a man with a withered hand (Mark 3,3).
He didn't even ask if the man had any faith.
Nor did He ask persmission.
This would supposedly be so offensive in our modern, politically correct culture. But think of it this way dear brothers and sisters- when we go to the barber, or the hair dresser, and sit in the chair, neither of them asks our permission, they just get after it!
When we go to hear a musician she doesn't ask permission to sing us a song. You just come close to a musician- watch out- they are going to sing.
What a lesson for us, who are often timid, even though we all have personally received so many miracles and healings already.
Like I said- I got my chance on my out of town bike trip- at the supermarket. The gal behind the counter made nice small talk, and then told me what ailed her, and some other stuff the way people do, and then it became one of those conversations that tarries in the Holy Ghost, and you are not sure why right off, but you sort of know, if you thought about it, that God's been involved all along.
And then, since Jesus had made the situation about as plain as possible so that even I could get the point, I went right into prayer, out loud, for all she needed.
All I had to do was set Jesus free in me.
And she was so thankful.
Yes, dear brothers and sisters, faith comes by hearing (Romans 10,17), not just preaching but a prayer of faith once in awhile. Praise the Lord!
Watch out folks- if you get close to us Jesus types- we might bust out in prayer.
I reckon that's about the best thing to do, nowadays.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...