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PRAY: Carpe Momento!

Posted by on March 12, 2010 in Florida Christian Writers Conference, Pray | 3 comments

The other day, God reminded me of a familiar lesson on prayer: carpe momento, or seize the moment.

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!


  1. Marti, I did not have the opportunity to pray personally with Barbara but I felt the same way about her praying and I did tell her that I felt she had a gift for public prayer.
    It was a great conference and I was spiritually uplifted by being there.
    thanks for this post. It also blessed me.
    Have a good day and keep in touch.
    I think I am listed as a follower on my personal blog, but do check me out on which is where I am posting now. I hope to start my personal blogging again very soon.
    In His Service

  2. Hi Clella! I know Barbara blessed many during the conference and beyond. I will watch for you on both the sites. I love the concept of the Kindred Heart Writers and will be watching to see where God takes each of you and your writing.

  3. Marti, it was great meeting you, and a special privilege to share the trip back to Orlando with you. Thank you for acting chauffeur. Check out my website when you have a chance I’m also almost finished a journal-style blog about the conference at Keep in touch!

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