(The IF:Gathering-Inspired Discussion Series came about after I had the chance to attend the conference this past February. It was an incredible and amazing conference. Throughout the two days, they provided discussion questions to go over with people seated by you. After going over a handful of the questions, I knew this was something I wanted to dig deeper into, so that’s what this series will be about; me picking one of the questions, sharing some thoughts and inviting you to join! Because who wants to wrestle with faith questions all alone? You can read past entries here.)
“What do you need to believe about God for your people?”
I wasn’t really sure who “your people” meant when they first mentioned this at the conference, but for whatever reason, my first thought was those in my life who don’t know Jesus. I was kind of caught off guard, because when I think of “my people” I think of my family and of course some friends. Yet, a burden hit for very specific people in my life who don’t know the peace of Jesus in their lives (yet).
Not only that, I was surprised by some of the people who came to my mind and who the Lord has put on my heart to pray for. Some are close friends, some family, some people from the past. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, just that they are the folks for me to pray for this year. Isn’t that interesting how God puts certain people on your heart?
I remember a couple years after high school, I heard about an old friend whose Dad was sick with cancer. See? News managed to travel around before Facebook and texting ; ). Anyway, I was praying for him and his family. For one of the first times as a believer, I felt I needed to call and tell my high school friend words of encouragement and prayer, even if they didn’t believe like I did. I’d love to continue the story and say I followed that prompting and there was miraculous healing and everyone came to faith.
But that’s not what happened. I never did call him (fear is stupid) and the next time I saw him was at his Dad’s funeral. Of course I don’t think calling him would have changed the outcome, but how I wish I did. Even just so the family knew more than ever they were surrounded by friends. It’s still something I would go back and do differently.
Fast forward to IF:Gathering and this question and all the faces that I know I need to pray for. Not only for conversations to happen, but because I know the amazing peace of Jesus and I want them to experience that too. Not so I can give myself a high five for being a “good” Christian, but so the burdens they carry, the deep seeded desire they long for (though they may not even realize they have), will be lifted and fulfilled by a peace which surpasses all understanding.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7
How good are the feet of those who bring good news! And I believe that God can work in someone’s life in ways I never thought possible. The specific people He’s placed on my heart (although, I promise I pray for others as well!) seem like those who are the “least likely” to care of such things, but maybe that’s why I need to be praying even more specifically.
I hang on to the beautiful hope that the Lord is capable of changing any heart. I’ve seen it in other people and it’s amazing. I can once again say, I believe Aslan is on the Move. I’ve also decided this is clearly the theme in my life for 2015. So I’m in!
What about you? Who are your people right now and what do you believe God can do in them and/or through them?