This is a short story by Dave Gilpin and a part of the Mind Map allegory of the mind of a Christian. He tracks the creation, journey and arrival of a prayer, similar to the ones we pray in everyday life. It’s a refreshing and liberating imagery of the desires of a heart being expressed and the translated and interceeded by the Holy Spirit. Let the story begin…
Duartion: 18 minutes
Recorded Live at Hope City Church, Sheffield
I am a Prayer.
In haste I was put together at approximately 10:03 yesterday morning.
There is nothing in my appearance that would attract you to me. I’m not like Beckham – more like Rooney.
I’ve got no rhythm and no rhyme, no punctuation, no onomatopoeia, no cutting edge, no mojo. I’m half baked: Each word held together simply by the string of a sincere heart of the One who prayed me into existence.
As I look around I can see that I’m not alone. Other prayers just like me gather in little clusters across the room while others shoot up like disappearing rockets into the air. Some linger, some evaporate, some fall, yet many move swiftly to a destination we all know to be real and magnificent. I am a Prayer of Hope. My mission is to arrive safely at the Throne of God, and ask if I can be granted a favour from the King.
No one knows, neither my Sender nor my associates, if I’ll be answered completely or not at all. Yet, as a prisoner of hope, I have an obligation to attend the hearing and wait for Heaven’s reply.
Within me, somewhere within me, is a feeling of de ja vu – a feeling that I’ve been prayed about many times before. Apart from a similar string of words lying motionless on the bedroom floor, I’m convinced that, clumsy as I am, I am in fact a living expression of a Word of Faith originating from God Himself.
I am, what they call, a Prayer Request. The heart that bore me is what they call a Believing Heart. Sometime prior to my birth, this ordinary yet believing heart had received through the post some important documentation regarding the Will of God. It was during a time of trial and it contained no specific details about me, but it did contain a Promise about God’s ability to provide, when all other rivers of provision have completely run dry. It was that Promise that instantly created Faith in the Heart of my Sender.
Between 10:01 and 10:23 I was one of many prayers prayed by the One who created me. I watched as some just dropped to the ground like dead weights in water. Those were the Prayers of Self – self pity, self satisfaction and self centeredness reflecting the raw emotions of my Sender’s soul. They were, however, only the minority.
One by one other prayer requests came over to join with me – each one as hastily and speedily put together as the one before, yet together we hovered, gently rising and gently falling in the atmosphere of faith and fury that surrounded us.
Suddenly a jolt came from underneath us, and we were thrust upwards and forward towards our destiny – The Throne of Grace and Mercy in our time of need. We were being lifted by what could only be described as a multitude of wings, flapping there way higher and closer towards the Throne. I was soon to discover that these wings were also prayers – the prayers of Praise and Thankfulness, and the Prayers of Worship. There were also known as the ‘Hallowed be your Name’ Prayers, sent to big up the character of God and all of His activity over the earth in recent times.
It became clear that my sender was following a pattern of prayer set in Philippians 4: 6 -7.
“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanks giving, present your requests to God”
Suddenly, we all became aware of a tangible Wind of Peace that transcended past us resting deep within both the heart and mind of the One who sent us. It was obvious to us all that this Wind of Peace must have contained an assurance not so much of all prayers being answered, but all prayers being heard and listened to by The Father above.
The Heart that bore me was happy to send me even if God’s ways proved a little higher and God’s thought’s a little wiser than His own.
Upon arrival at the Throne of Grace we were broken into two groups – the Prayers of Hope and the Prayers of Faith. The Prayers of Faith went straight to the head of the line to receive precisely what they requested. They knew that if they asked they would receive, what they sought after they would find and if they knocked, the door would be opened.
I noticed that even before the request was given in at the Throne of Grace by the Prayer of Faith, the answers were already waiting – all boxed up, wrapped up and locked up just waiting for the request to be received. For every prayer, there was already an answer!
Yet, within the queue, the Prayer of Hope of which I was a representative far out numbered the Prayers of Faith. It was obvious that while they had been sent with a direct promise that they would get exactly what they asked, we had not. We’d all come from a Heart of Faith, both sent to the Fathers Throne, yet our destinies were divided.
Amongst us all were Prayers of Transformation – requests that God would break habits, change our ways and release the victory of Christ into our hearts and minds. Queuing up were Prayers of Influence – requests for greater influence upon the lives of others at work, in college, in the city, in church and in the community.
There was also a huge number of Prayers of Blessing – requests for finance, friends, abundance, health and prosperity. Some of these were Prayers of Faith, some Prayers of Hope – but all rising from real belief and real conviction.
Some of us were just four or five words irregularly stuck together. Others were like the game of Jenga – words stacked messily and awkwardly together. Yet all of us would have a hearing before God.
Suddenly, as we waited, we felt like we were being stormed by an invasion of paratroopers landing all around us. Emblazoned on half of their parachutes were the words ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, and on the other half were the words ‘Thy Will be Done’ . They possessed a boldness and a stubbornness that I’d never seen before. Each claimed their right for the Kingdom of their Earth to be replaced by the Kingdom of their God. These were the Prayers of Declaration that stood alongside the Prayers of Petition.
Even though these Declaration Prayers were at times loud and menacing, they were dwarfed by the sheer size and magnitude of the Throne of God. Every one of Heaven’s windows, doors, pallets and crates reduced even the strongest of these prayers to mere mortal endeavours.
As the Prayers of Hope gathered at the throne, we saw some get instantly exchanged for almost all that they requested. In my case, it wasn’t to be.
As I stood, before the Throne of Grace about to take my place immediately before the Father of Lights, I felt a Presence surround me that seemed to know something far beyond what my sender could even have known. Even though Faith had sent me, I could feel myself being read, adjusted and changed by the Presence that accompanied me.
I was born in haste, yet this Presence, this Holy Spirit was not. It hadn’t just arrived – it had been sent – sent to re-adjust every prayer prayed in sincerity; to conform every prayer to the Will and Purposes of God.
My Sender knew that this would happen. It was all apart of the greater plans of God. The Spirit would help us in our weaknesses. Rom 8:26-27 says so.
“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the Saints in accordance with Gods Will.”
This was all part of the plan. I would be launched in hope and gazumped by Heaven. The Holy Spirit would alloy the tin of my prayer with the platinum of His Will. He would become my Intercessor, my Go Between, the Great Interpreter, my Editor in Chief, my Ghost Writer.
I looked around me to see the Wing-like Prayers of Praise and Worship, the Paratroopers of Declaration and the common workers of the Prayers of Petition and Request. I looked behind me to see the Intercessor, the Holy Spirit – His Presence towering over all of us, guiding us into all truth and godliness.
I was, before the Holy Spirit came along, a prayer for shoes. Not any pair of shoes but walking boots. I was to submit the request form at the Throne of Grace to enable my Sender to go walking across the dales with two old school friends who’d recently been in touch. Financial difficulties called me to active duty. The shoes would create a bridge of friendship upon which the Love of God could easily be shared.
But to no avail. The shoes never showed. The plans to go walking never succeeded, the connection was never made. Within a week the financial situation was made even worse by my Sender’s car failing its MOT leaving him to catch the bus to work for an entire month.
On the last day his eyes glanced across at the paper the woman next to him was reading. The Instructor’s job immediately caught his attention and he scribbled down the number before the page had turned. He got the job. Within a month, two staff members had made his church their home and both of them began to assist in the Church’s Mercy Home for young woman brought low by life’s misfortunes. It was there that they both led two woman in great need to Jesus Christ.
I prayed for shoes. The Holy Spirit turned me around and I became a prayer for a new job and a change of career.
If it wasn’t for me, even though misguided and misdirected, there would have been no change – no new job, no extra help for the Mercy Home and no one won to Jesus.
I may be half baked, but with the power of the Holy Spirit, I am the key to your future.
If you pray God will answer.