This morning I felt overwhelmed by prayer needs and the need to pray. If you are an intercessor, or one who prays, you have probably had those days too. My heart breaks today for the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch TN where 7 were wounded and a 39 year old woman was killed by a masked shooter. And our eastern seaboard is projected to be pounded once again by a strong hurricane, the 3rd one, 4th if one counts the hurricane that kicked up storms while blowing itself out in the middle of the ocean. Puerto Rico lies in devastation from the same storm and Florida and Texas are still in crisis cleaning up from the previous two. And, my prayer list for personal needs, illnesses, sudden deaths in families and on and on is growing. Seems like every day I get more bad news that needs prayer.
What does a follower of Jesus do when the world has seemingly gone crazy around them? In the language of my first prayer partners who were all 80 something and I was a kid of 41, we PRESS IN. That phrase when I first heard it back in the 1990’s made little sense to me. I was a new believer and my question at the time was “Press into what?” My mentors smiled a knowing smile and simply said “Jesus, of course.”
Brother John, tall graying black curly hair, with a wonderful base voice came over to my side. My hands completely disappear into his large knuckled chocolate brown hands… as he grabbed hold of them. He was the most loving, strong, faith-filled man I have ever known. His prayers of faith calling upon the mercy of God in Jesus name gave me shivers to my toes. Then his lovely wife and the rest of the group would join in agreement until they felt they had gotten a release and the answer was on the way. If it took 10 minutes we prayed 10 minutes. If it took 3 hours, we prayed 3 hours. And, sometimes the theme carried over week after week until we got that special sense of release about that topic. When that happened Brother John would start shouting “Thank you, Lord!” Others would start singing or clapping or dancing – Yup, dancing in their 80’s. Some quieter ones like me would feel the waves of love and joy and put our hands in the air. That was how I learned to PRESS IN.
The art of pressing into Jesus seems to be fading away in our church culture. Perhaps it was getting a bit tarnished for me as well since I started the day rather despondent. So, out of His great love and in a direct answer to my hearts cry regarding what to do with all these prayer needs, what to do when the world is a crazy mess, Holy Spirit answered with the words PRESS IN. He is also renewing His heart in me regarding intercession, impressing me with the great need the USA body of Christ has in this area. We must regain the persevering hope filled faith and patient steadfast believing that it takes to grab hold of the answers available in heaven. We need to learn or relearn how to humble ourselves, take hold of the hem of Jesus’ garment in the Spirit and not let go until we get that wonderful sense of release; to truly not grow weary in doing well (praying and interceding) for in due time we shall reap if we faint not. (paraphrase of Galatians 6:9)
We need to Press Into Jesus, like Jesus Pressed Into His Father in the Garden!
Praise God! I have received my answer as to what to do when the world around me has gone crazy. I will be Pressing In! Holy Spirit will help… Let’s press into Jesus together and see the merciful and grace filled answers to our needs pour out of heaven!
Yes! In Christ Alone our HOPE is Found!
With Love to you,