Monday, April 19, 2010


Have you evern wondered what people mean when they say I felt "prompted" to do something? Especially in Christian circles we tend to throw this word around a lot. Sometimes it is code for "I'm going to do what I want to do and if I say the 'spirit is prompting me' then you can't argue with my action or conclusion." I've actually had encounters with Christian people who are getting a divorce with no biblical grounds for it and justify their lack of commitment by saying, "the Spirit is leading me to end this marriage." Well, you can take this to the bank - the Spirit and the Word are NEVER in if the Spirit is saying something the Word isn't saying, then it's not the Spirit you are hearing. But this blog isn't about that.

I'm talking about when as a Christian you actually feel the Holy Spirit moving you, inspiring you, prompting you. It's like saying in Acts 20:22 - "and now compelled by the Spirit, I'm going to Jerusalem..." or in Acts 16:6&7 when the Spirit prevented them from going into some areas for missions ("the Spirit of Jesus wouldn't allow them"). Here's how I've experienced this lately...a lot!

The Spirit prompts names for me. As you can imagine, in a church this large, I don't know every name (truth be told, I'm lousy with names and in a church of 200 I wouldn't know every name either - I sometimes forget my kids names...and I'm not joking!). But here's been my experience lately as i'm pastoring here. I'll be running, or sitting in my chair at home, or just riding my motorcycle, or watching baseball, or writing a sermon, really an 'ol time at all; and suddenly a name is in my head.

Usually it's totally unrelated. Sometimes it's my immediate family, sometimes it's people from church, sometimes people I haven't seen for years. But here's the crazy thing, the name keeps coming back. I mean if I just say internally, "that's weird" and go on; then a day later that name will be back. So I've made it a habit that if a name pops into my head - I pray for the person.

It is uncanny - miraculously spiritual - how many times I bump into these people a day or two or week later only to hear exactly what I was praying for unawares. Sometimes I "coincidentally" (and by that I mean providentially) run into people i haven't seen for months and then I put it all together. The Spirit is at work and I'd better pay attention. Because these names are promptings and I'm to keep in step with the how is the Spirit prompting you?


Donna said...

An example: Thursday at the ECC pantry, a man came (new client) and his ID was a page with his picture and a description of him. His address ID was a new rental lease on an apartment. He did not fill in a prayer card, but as he waited for his turn, he appeared so depressed as to sort of put his head in his hands a few times. All week I have thought of that man and prayed for him--I only give his first name...Marcus Every prayer time he comes to mind. I pray the Spirit is moving in his life as I've thought of him so often.

scremer said...

Discovered that years ago too. It would also happen when I woke up in the middle of the night. It bothers me when people flippantly say "I will pray for you" when you can predict that they won't. I love when people pray with me right then and there or even on the phone. I try to do that now by their example.

Anonymous said...

Recently, the Spirit has given me a sudden urge to share my testimony regarding forgiveness. On the evening of April 21st, I went to attend the GEMS session only to discover that I was a week early (like that has never happened to you, right)!
That night I was greeted by a stranger working in the Harvest book store, who was willing to listen to my testimony that I was working up the courage to share on what I thought was the last night of GEMS. After I explained to her my intentions of helping others, all of the sudden an urge came over me to share with you and Sara. It occurred to me that if I was willing to share my childhood history with a total stranger, then why not share it with the Senior Pastor? Upon her suggestion, I put a copy in an envelope and marked it Personal and Confidential.
Immediately, I went to the reception area and put it in the basket by Sara's desk. As soon as I got home I felt the sudden urge that Sara needed a copy as well. So I sent her and email with an attachment marked the same because you two are a team and I felt that she needed to know.
Ever since that night, I have shared my personal testimony of forgiveness: it details the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that I endured as a child. I didn't just have a messed up childhood, I missed it all together!
When the spirit prompts me to share with a trusted friend or an individual that I have the opportunity to help, I obey and feel good about it. My testimony is an integral part of my journey that has brought me this far towards forgiveness and healing. The inner drive to help others who have had a similar background is my purpose and gift.