Friday, October 21, 2016

The Day Time Stood Still

Last week, I had the privilege of serving in the prayer room for a four-day Christian leadership retreat. It was an intense time of intercession that began near dawn and extended well into the night. Physically exhausting. Spiritually reviving.

We prayed with many broken, hurting brothers and sisters in Christ who had carried loads of sin and hurt for so long they couldn't get free. Those loads had impacted everything in their lives. My team and I had the great privilege of praying with them as those burdens slipped off and landed at the feet of Jesus. There were lots of tears, but we all emerged rejoicing over their new-found freedom.

As if freedom was not a big enough miracle, something happened Sunday morning that took our breath away.

We were behind schedule by 35 minutes. It was imperative that we be finished with every scheduled activity by 4:00 pm. That 35 minutes made it impossible.

The next speaker was about to begin. We had already timed her talk. It was 23 minutes, but she had decided to add more information and a song. After her "tweaking", it was 28 minutes long. Her time-slot was 20 minutes. Anything longer would put us further behind.

The assistant director looked at the schedule on the wall, then at me. "We're pretty far behind."

Granted I'd been in the prayer room for days and had very little sleep, but my motto is always pray big. "We could ask God to make time stand still while she speaks," I suggested. 

I look back on that moment and realize not one person doubted. We all nodded our heads and agreed. It seemed the most natural, sensible prayer possible.

We prayed. 

When our speaker walked in the room, we were 35 minutes behind.

She spoke 28 minutes. It was so powerful that a roomful of women stood on their chairs and sang "Victory in Jesus". The Holy Spirit was so strong in the room we could feel Him outside the door.

When she walked back into the prayer room, we checked our watches and couldn't believe what we saw. We pulled out our phones and checked the time again. Our watches were correct. Mouths dropped open. Including mine. We were only fifteen minutes behind.

We looked back and forth from each other to our clocks. Finally, I spoke. "Well, yes. He's done it before. He did it again." 

As twenty-eight minutes passed in that room, somehow, time not only stood still, it went backward 20 minutes in that retreat center.

I freely admit that I was tired enough to have imagined the whole thing, but the five other people in the room were not. It happened.

Not only did God reach out and touch time, He touched the hearts of women who needed Him to move on their behalf, and He changed us all. 

In case you've doubted it, we serve a wonder-working God who still works wonders. He still does miracles. There's no prayer too big. No need too great. 

Not every prayer we prayed resulted in a miracle. Not every person we prayed for chose to let their burdens go and embrace freedom. But some did. 

As we look back on those four days, we won't remember the prayers that didn't get a yes. We'll remember the freedom we saw and the day time stood still. 

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" Matthew 19:26 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Where Miracles Begin

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