My entire day got hijacked by prayer! About this time last night, I was talking and praying with two guys. I was so stirred that I continued to talk with others and pray afterward. This morning, I was still just as bent on praying. From nine until noon, I preached and prayed with some of our team. They left, and I prayed through lunch instead of eating. I watched Papa Lou preach for 30 minutes, and went to a meeting. Then I was praying again at 6:30pm. And now it’s “time to sleep.”
As much as I love “structure,” and I really do, I also love the recklessness — and that’s exactly how you feel — that comes with these “interruptions.” One thing that resonated me so much was when I heard myself say: That’s what I do! I interrupt routines and break cycles.
Looking back, that’s all I’ve really done. My approach actually seems very “impulsive” except for the fact that I do it so often. At “random” times, I pull aside “random people,” initiate “random” conversations and rumble as long as possible. Why? Because I love to wait on the Lord.
And that’s what I do. I talk to coach people through the awkwardness that’s often associated with “waiting on the Lord.” Often, I’m ranting some call to action with a series of unfinished stories and fast-moving metaphors. I’m constantly connecting new dots and introducing unfiltered thoughts. For me, this “stream of consciousness” is like a river that invites others to come into deeper places. After a few waves of restlessness and heightened awareness, I encourage others to “pray into” the things we’ve shared to hear what they’re hearing. And by that point, the circle takes on a life of its own as everyone is forming new connections with their personal insights.
I’m also amazed by how futile this experience feels every time. Literally, you feel partially like a bad guy for “imposing” upon others. On the other side, you feel down right stubborn for you’re unwillingness to move on. However, those emotions are far weaker than the desire to keep going…
I cannot say it’s a gift or anything, but I’m actually in those awkward settings quite often. Even though it’s not spoken, I can feel the restlessness and resistance as I’m talking, which makes me realize how forward I’m actually being. That’s part of the territory… and it only makes things that much more rewarding when you see others stepping out later on.
It’s not that I had to talk that long or that I had say anything in particular. The key is a willingness — more like insistence — to wait on the Lord. It’s a practice that comes with modeling. Many times, my company has never ventured that far out, but once they realize how simple “pioneering prayers” can be, they just don’t want to stop.
There are two “fears” — if I can call them that — that I feel at the same time. One is the fear of doing the wrong thing, and the other is the fear of being disobedient. It’s really no contest: I’d rather mess up than miss out. My passion takes me over the top, and I am filled with enthusiasm! I can risk the time spent because I’m just convinced that the Lord is beckoning me to keep going.
Nothing eternal happens without Heaven’s help. No fruit is grown, no ground is taken, without the Lord’s active involvement. The biggest self-talk to overcome is the issue of futility. You think you’re wasting everyone’s time. You feel like you’re not getting anywhere. That’s not the right thing to dwell on. We set our mind on Christ. He encourages us to continue, because He is at work in those moments. He is doing His good work, and we become aware of it more and more.
I believe in planning time to pray. In our praying culture, we all have a set time for devotion, and we pray 30 minutes a week consistently. However, there are windows of opportunity that must be seen and seized. There is also a place for “feisty faith” that stays focus with a full confidence in His desire to move on your behalf. That’s where we are now. We’re learning how to respond to the Lord’s leading, and to — if I may say it this way — capitalize the little moments we find throughout the day. Like a seed, those moments grow and spread. We refuse to stop, because that seed is taking root and bearing fruit in our lives. And in those times of perseverance — if I can call it that — we’re developing a value for waiting on the Lord.
If I could sum up my history as a praying pioneer, I would label the caption on most of my “prayer-life” as simply waiting on the Lord. So much comes out of that place, that motive to simply stay in His Presence with a willingness and confidence that He will show up. I also think most of my prayers are started or sustained simply by praying in the Spirit as well. Both are directly connected in my mind.
So many times, we’re given so much in so little. We’re given a forest in a single seed — just one seed at a time. It takes faith to see it and seize it. It takes “feisty faith” to plant yourself. I’m not restless about it though. I’m content to contend. It sounds like a paradox, but it’s actually a principle and practice. I am very happy with waiting on the Lord. I enjoy the process, the journey, just as much as the destination. Yes, we’re getting somewhere, but it’s also about the experience we’re having with the Lord along the way.
It’s difficult to catch people up to speed. I don’t try to retell everything we’ve shared. I just welcome them with a sincere greeting and keep right on going. I bring them into the journey, and try to add context when it fits in. However, I don’t try to go back to where we started. I keep going. I bring them into the conversation, and coach them through the feelings that pop up along the way.
Now, I admire many gifted communicators, and I am developing my communications for other settings… BUT THIS ISN’T THAT. I’m not trying to condense things, or clear things up, or make pithy comments with memorable takeaways. I’m trying to strength condition these “students” in the school of “wait training.” We are learning together how to “wait on the weight…” That’s a phrase we use to talk about waiting on the Lord. Like the Scripture says, those who wait on the Lord will be renewed in strength.
Most folks cannot handle the heavy glory upfront. You have to yield to the Holy Spirit, and give Him time to saturate you. Because the goal is not in-and-out. The goal is fellowship, partnership, and intimacy. There is something really valuable in giving the Holy Spirit your time. That value has to be developed by practice. It’s an actual practice, and it’s helpful when someone goes through that with you if possible.
I hope we get hijacked by the Holy Spirit more often. It’s not a spooky thing. It’s simply a choice to wait on the Lord. Praying like this can be your new normal. It’s a life-long practice, but being with the Lord is so rewarding. And when we finish these “sessions,” the results are always the same. People often mention: Wow. That felt like a few minutes! Waiting on the Lord is a wonderful thing. It’s the key to so much of what makes us a praying culture. Why? Because Jesus is our seed, and worth being planted.