As a junior in high school, I once took an “unauthorized” road trip on a Saturday evening to a ski resort several hours away from my home. My friends and I raced home that next morning to try to get to church on time so that no one would know we had been gone. One friend drove while the rest of us slept. Then he decided to take a nap too. Unfortunately, he also kept his position in the driver’s seat.
The car, set on cruise control at 62 miles per hour, barreled off the side of the road and into a twenty-foot ravine, landing upside down. How any of us survived I’m not quite sure. The crash mangled the car, crushing it in several places. And yet every one of us walked out of the wreck without a scratch.
Just moments before the accident, I woke up and shifted from the left backseat to the right. The spot where my head had previously lain got completely crushed in the accident, while the roof over my new seat remained untouched. And here’s the strangest detail of the story: As we were drifting off the road toward the ravine, we had hit a discarded mattress lying on the roadside that threw us into a tailspin, which slowed our speed dramatically. Without that mattress, we would have rocketed into the ravine at more than 60 miles per hour. I have no idea why someone deposited a mattress at that particular spot. Seriously. What are the odds?
Of course, after we got home, I had to tell my parents what had happened. As I related the details, my mom asked what time this had all gone down. I told her, “5:21,” because when I got jolted awake by the car landing upside down, the inverted digital numbers were the first thing I saw. She told me that she had been awakened at 5:00 that morning with an inexplicable urge to pray for me. She prayed for about thirty minutes — for God to work in my life, to get my attention regarding where I was going in life, to protect me, and to perfect his will in me. At 5:30, she went back to sleep.
I tell you this story for two reasons:
To demonstrate how God can move in our spirit to pray for others.
To request that if God ever wakes you up at 5 a.m. with a strong desire to pray for me, you go along with it.
Often, when God wants to do something in the world, he moves in us to do it. He moves in our spirits through desires, convictions, and revelatory insights.
He accomplishes his purposes through us, the members of his body.
J. D. Greear, Jesus, Continued…: Why the Spirit inside You Is Better than Jesus beside You(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014).
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