As is the tradition in many small, rural towns in the South, 5th Sunday was a combined worship service where the Methodists and the Baptists each go to the others' churches for service. Don't know where the tradition began, but it is always a joy to have a full church, whether the Baptists coming to the Methodist church, or vice-a-versa. The tradition is that the visiting church provides the message/sermon. This past Sunday, the Methodists visited the Baptist church and our pastor delivered the message.
I have to say that it was powerful! While she was preaching, I was overcome by the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is a personal overcoming...but it was present. As I looked at her delivering her sermon, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in me, personally, but noticed something. There was a cloud surrounding her. Her message was potent and I was caught up in the presence stronger than usual. She seemed to be under a cloud. There was a presence that made me blink more than once, and it persisted. The presence of God was there.
She preached on 2 Timothy about how Paul had lifted up Timothy to God. She noted that Paul lifted up his life, his accomplishments for Our Lord, and focused on the word..."remember". She stated that one Greek interpretation of the word meant to make memorials, aka, monuments for the person being prayed for in the presence of God in his throne-room. That was a powerful thing to embrace. Suddenly, I found myself reflecting upon all those for whom I've prayed for for healing to have a trophy room in God's throne-room. What a wonderful thing to embrace.
I've changed my prayer life since. Now, when I pray for someone, I lift up all their Godly traits...whether it be a struggle or a praise, I lift them up. Is this strange or what? I make an exhibit for God for the person being prayed for, then tell God to look at it, and acknowledge it, then answer my prayers for that person. I pray also that I'm not off base in my prayers. But, God knows each and every one of us...and He finds pleasure in us lifting up one who needs Him. So, I lay out the trophies of each and every supplicant for God to see and recognize, prior to my intercession.
It is a joy. Truly, a joy. Through Christ, our sins are forgiven, but through supplication on the behalf of a needy follower, filling God's throne-room with the attributes of another follower, gives a special power to prayer for them.
That's what's happening to me in my personal prayer life. Am I weird or right on? Don't know...but will continue in this manner of prayer.