PRAY: Carpe Momento!
I’ve written before about my friend Anne Nigels and her immediate prayers when she became aware of a need. She prayed this way over the phone, in the grocery aisle, in line at the bank, in the hallway after a church service, and on countless other occasions. Anne was hospitalized several times over the years I knew her. As pastor and wife, my husband and I prayed during every hospital visit we made. Anne was the first patient who turned that around and prayed for us.
Last week, I had the blessing of attending the Florida Christian Writers Conference at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center. Almost as the conference began, I became aware of someone whose heart was tuned to the things of God. Barbara Eddings, a close friend of conference director Billie Wilson, has served as conference chaplain for many years. Each general session included a season of prayer in which Barbara poured out her heart before God and the rest of us got to listen in.
Public prayer can prove a challenge. The enemy raises his head and makes it easy to concentrate on the audience of people rather than the audience of One. Barbara’s focus was right. Her prayers made that clear.
God gave me glimpses of this woman of God throughout the conference. She was often seated at the hospitality table—but just as often, she was up to run an errand, answer a request, or meet a need. Her official title was “chaplain,” but I think it could have just as easily been “servant.” She seized the moment and moved to meet needs as her Father directed.
God gave me the opportunity to seize a moment with Barbara, too. One evening, I had stayed in the main building later than I intended. Bone-weary, I was heading toward the door when I almost ran into her. Barbara looked more tired than I felt. God had already spoken to me about praying with her, and I knew that—in spite of our exhaustion—it was time to seize the moment.
What followed became a time of blessing for us both. Barbara later told me to describe it as a time when “the Holy Ghost came down.” He was there. He was present. And He ministered to us both.
In a conversation after our prayer, something else happened. A twist in our discussion led us to realize that we have a beloved mutual friend. Our friend now lives in Alabama, but we both met her in California. Only God could have added this special touch to our divine encounter. And it touched us both to realize that, long before we met, we had a prayer connection through our sister in Christ.
If God hadn’t prompted me to seize the moment to pray with my new friend and sister, I would have missed out on these gifts. Watch for moments to seize as you face your day today. You don’t want to miss a blessing, and you don’t want to miss out on Jesus.
He’s waiting for you in the moment. Run to Him!