Peppermint. Peppermint with chocolate—maybe white chocolate. It is the one taste that captures the holidays from my earliest years. The season invites putting up the trea and white chocolate mocha. Carole puts up the tree; I drink the mocha. It takes the right blend. When I add Watkins Peppermint to my coffee it is usually too strong. It is hard to capture all the hopes and dreams of all the years in a cup, but I seriously try.
My lady has bronchitis. It is nagging and won’t surrender to antibiotics and she won’t drink the hot toddy I fix for her. She knows what is supposed to work—she knows stuff. She has a couple of nagging health issues which has required see doctors, having tests. None are catastrophic, but they are worrisome and bothersome.
We have friends and acquaintances from very young to older who are dealing with serious problems. Some have a long list of recent deaths reaching into family and tribe.
And then, there is ISIS.
The past few days have aggravated a constant question. How do I pray for these people? I say, “Jesus, be with Carole this morning, heal the cause of her cough. Attend her as she works.” I think of the one-year old whose story tears me up. I cannot think of any words that Jesus has not already prayed for that kid. I can hear Jesus respond in exasperation: “Don’t you think I want to? You think I can’t remember your last 6000 prayers? You think my compassion for Carole and that whole list of hurting people slipped past my attention or I forgot?”
Of course not. Because he is our intercessor, I speak words that I think will agree with what Jesus is praying for these people.
I was asking these questions while reading about an evangelistic team on the streets of Tijuana. Right after setting up their PA torrential rain began. The team gathered for prayer—what to do? The leader felt God wanted him to make an announcement. He jumped onto the stage to say, “Jesus loves you! He is going to prove it right now by stopping the rain.” He pointed to the clouds and shouted, “Rain, stop now! Clouds roll back!” In one second the rain stopped and the clouds rolled back. The people were stunned and responded with questions like, “How can I be saved?” People in surrounding buildings and on the street fell to their knees.
Then I read about a young man in a supermarket checkout counter. The lady in front of him was wearing hearing aids. He fixated on them. Totally deaf in one ear, 50% in the other. He asked if he could pray for her. After some convincing, the woman took off her aids and found she was healed. Both ears! The clerk, who apparently knew the lady, broke into tears. The young man asked for the microphone.
“Attention all shoppers.” He handed the mic to the healed lady who told her story. The young man spoke several words of knowledge—like, “Someone in the fruit aisle is going to have hip surgery tomorrow. Meet me in aisle 12 and I will pray for you.” A few minutes later, a hip was restored in aisle 12.
The person who tells these stories has credibility. I think that is the norm for Spirit-filled followers of Jesus. How, then, do I plug into that world? Into that supernatural power stream?
Supper time is not always pleasant at our house. All the questions of the day come to the table. What stands in the way of God doing His work in aisle 12 when we go to HyVee? Why are we still praying for healing for friends when we should be proclaiming the goodness and power of God in response to the healing we asked for? Blaming myself for somehow being the blockage is not satisfying or even probably totally true.
“Did smoking that cigar when I was 14 disqualify me forever?”
And finally, if it doesn’t work, can we continue to make these faith assumptions and announcements?
So, I lured you into this with the promised taste of white chocolate and peppermint to ask you a question. How are you praying against ISIS? When you say you are praying for the election, how are you doing that? And the immigration situation? What are the words? What is the prayer stance? Tone? Do you tell God or do you pray against the illness or the evil?
My prayer list is in front of me. I have read James 5:15-16 and John 14:12-14.
©2015 D. Dean Benton bentonministries.com