Daily Thought For February 9, 2019

The Prayer Room

     About this time every year our prayer group is involved in hosting the Southern Regional Conference for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I have come to love this yearly gathering. It's a privilege to come together with several thousand Catholic charismatics to praise and worship, to be taught, and to see the Lord act with power. 
     No matter how outstanding the message of the conference is, there is always something else that manages to touch me. It is the generosity and commitment of the volunteers who work at the conference. Hundreds of people each year pledge their time and talents to serve. 
     One of my children asked me recently what these workers get paid for their service. He was shocked to find out there is no monetary reward for the countless hours of work they do. Instead they find their joy in being like their Master who said, "I am among you as one who serves" (Mt 20:28). In the words of one of the men who constructs the stage, "I'd rather do this job for the Lord than make a million dollars!" 
     Several years ago I was particularly struck by the beauty of one of the conference volunteers named Ethel. She had been recommended to serve in the Word Gift Unit. This group is comprised of brothers and sisters from various prayer groups who have tested gifts of prophecy, exhortation and revelation. They come together in prayer before each conference session. Then they are seated on stage to minister through the operation of the word gifts. It is a great responsibility to serve in such a way, and it is also a real honor. 
     When Ethel was invited to be part of this group she set about seeking God's will. Although she was willing to serve in the Word Gift Unit, she wanted to be sure this was exactly where the Lord wanted her during the conference. After a time of prayer Ethel discerned that she should be part of the Prayer Room team instead.      During meal breaks at the conference people with special needs come to the prayer room to receive ministry. There, hidden away in a corner of the prayer room, the Lord used Ethel to manifest His glory in a dramatic way. 
     Many people came to Ethel for prayer. According to the light God gave, Ethel prayed for each one's needs. Finally, a tiny Vietnamese woman approached her. As she came forward the Holy Spirit prompted Ethel to remove her shoes with the sense that she was standing on holy ground. The little lady stood before Ethel with her hands joined in prayer and bowed low from the waist. In the next few moments it was clear that the Vietnamese woman could neither speak nor understand English. Ethel knew no Vietnamese. 
     Because of the circumstances Ethel relied on the gift of tongues in her intercession for this sister's needs. As Ethel prayed she soon realized that she was no longer praying in the tongue she usually prayed with. Instead, the Holy Spirit gave her a new language - one that sounded like Vietnamese! Ethel soon became convinced that she was indeed praying in Vietnamese when the tiny lady began to converse with her in the same language. You can imagine the sense of awe that came upon them in those moments! 
     When they finished praying, the Vietnamese woman bowed low to Ethel, and Ethel returned this beautiful, reverent gesture. The little lady walked away having received ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. God had reached down and touched her, despite the language barrier. 
     Ethel was thrilled! How grateful she was to be in the prayer room at that moment so that God could use her. Had she accepted the invitation to serve in the Word Gift Unit, her service would have been more visible. But the Lord was calling her to be hidden in humble service where she could be His instrument in this special way. 
     I have seen this same spirit of humility and obedience in countless others whose hearts are set on serving the Lord. They have no concern for their own glory. They desire the glory of their Master. As I look forward to our next conference I thank God for men and women like these who listen to and obey His voice. May the Lord Himself reward them for their humble service! 

from More of God — Inspirational Selections from the Notebook Column by Patti Gallagher Mansfield pp. 47-49

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