What happens when you come back to your home church and tell them about the field trip to the mall?
They want to do it too!
So, ditto the whole experience. I teach for a weekend and then the next weekend we go to the Food Court at one of our local malls. It was about three weeks before Christmas and the malls were busy. We needed some kind of helpful introduction to shoppers. This is what came to me, “If you could have anything you wanted for Christmas from God other than the usual presents and gifts, what would it be?”
A few people blew us off, but most of them thought about the question and answered with surprising vulnerability. One woman told me that she had been estranged from her adult daughter for years and longed to spend a Christmas with her. An older man told me that his health was bad and he didn’t have enough energy to be with his extended family. Others told of problems at work and with family relationships.
In each case we had an opportunity to pray for them. All those who answered the question were open to receiving prayer as well. We spent the better part of a day praying for people.
I wonder if any of you readers are thinking, “Nice introduction to praying for people, but what does this have to do with prophecy and the supernatural?” Good question. Let me answer that question by saying something about prayer.
Much of the time prayer is little more than us asking God to give us what we want. This is fine as far as it goes, but the Bible tells us that Jesus is before the Father in heaven right now praying for us and for the lost. [Hebrews 7:24–25] I take this to mean that whenever I go to pray for someone, Jesus is already praying for them. If this is true, then I have a choice between praying my prayer for this person based upon my assessment of their needs or waiting and listening to the “voice” of God to tell me what Jesus is praying for him.
Whose prayer has the best chance of being answered?
I approach every prayer this way; ask them what they need and then wait on the Holy Spirit with the expectation that He will tell me how to pray His prayer for them. In other words, prayer can be an opportunity to use a revelatory gift to direct our prayers. And these prayers tend to be more powerful prayers than those that come from our own minds. So, this is what we do. We listen to the need and then we quiet ourselves and wait for God to communicate His heart and mind for the person.
My prayer partner and I were taking a break from praying for strangers, so we sat down and had a coke. A past church member came by and sat beside us, asking us what we were doing at the mall. I began to explain how we were praying and prophesying over strangers. While I was explaining all this, two women were sitting to my left. I noticed that they were listening closely to everything I was saying. I turned to them and asked if they would like prayer. They said yes!
It turned out one of them had just lost her job and would be out of her apartment in three days. Out on the street with nowhere to live two weeks before Christmas! I told them that we would pray for them, but that it was our custom to be still for a few minutes to listen to God to see how He wanted us to pray. I did this and this is what came out; “You have been terribly abused by men. All the men in your life have abused you. What is amazing is that you have never gotten bitter or hateful in all the pain and injustice. Jesus wants to be a spiritual husband to you for a period of time, while your pain heals. He does not want any more men in your life until He has healed your broken heart. When your heart is healed and you can trust again, He will bring the right man into your life.”
Needless to say, she wept through the whole prayer. Her friend kept saying,
“How could you know her so well? This is incredible!” Then we prayed for her friend and I told her how God saw her. I told her of her character strengths and what God wanted to make of her life. When we were done they were radiant with joy. With complete sincerity they asked, “Are you angels?”
It was a hard question to answer because at that moment we were doing the usual work of angels – bringing messages of great joy and encouragement from God.
The next day I was scheduled to man our “free prayer” table in the Mall.
We set up the table right in the middle of the main walkway in the mall. We wanted to make sure that everyone who passed saw our sign. I tried to look harmless and loving. My partner for the day was a guy from church whose wife thought it would be good for him to go out and experience a few supernatural spiritual gifts. He was a willing neophyte.
To be honest there were not many who took us up on the free prayer offer… until… a middle-aged couple were walking toward our table. I saw that they saw our sign and they saw that I saw that they saw me seeing them seeing our sign. [I love that sentence]. I could see them hesitate and look at each other. They were both waiting for a buy in from the other. I decided to do a little selling so I said, “Hey, what have you got to lose? It can’t hurt.” So, they came over and sat down. I said, “What would you like prayer for? They said, “We have found our dream house and we really want to buy it, but we haven’t been able to sell our present house first and it has to sell or we lose our dream house.”
What an easy thing to pray for! So, I gave them the spiel about not wanting to pray our prayer for them, but God’s prayers for them – so we need to wait a minute or two. They were fine with that. Nothing came, so I just prayed for their house to sell. In the middle of this prayer a thought came to me; “His ex-wife has been cursing and slandering him.” I had no idea if he had an ex-wife, but I decided to risk it and just give what I was getting.
I told him his ex-wife had been slandering him to his family and at his church and that as a result he was beginning to believe that he could not be a good husband to his new wife [the woman sitting beside him]. As I was speaking his head was nodding “yes” and his wife was crying and saying, “Yes! Yes!” Then I told him that as a result of this cursing and slander he has begun to believe that he doesn’t deserve his new wife and that maybe she is not God’s will for him, and that these thoughts are undermining his new marriage.
At this point they both came apart – they just wept. I went on to tell them that God says, he is a good man and that with God’s help, he is going to make a great husband and have a successful marriage – that they are God’s gift to each other. We rebuked the lies that were trying to destroy his marriage and his intimacy with God.
My partner saw a mental picture of a train half way across a very high railroad bridge between two cliffs. The interpretation came to me – they are in a time of change and transition between the past [the bad marriage] and the future [the new marriage] and that a new stability is coming.
When we were done praying and prophesying over them they were thrilled! This is what they said,
“We live way south of here [about 30 miles] and have never been to this mall before. When we decided to drive all this way to this mall, we didn’t know why we wanted to come here. It made no sense to us, but we just wanted to come here. Now we know why we felt we needed to come here. Everything you said to us is absolutely true! You have no idea what your words mean to us!”
Free prayer indeed!