Sentinels For Christ :: Prayer That Shifts

Prayer That Shifts

Posted by jimgrier on February 10, 2019

I had a calling on my life in 2016. At the time I told my church dutifully that I felt God wanted me to go into service. Within two days a fellow Christian who I had seen at church occasionally had tracked me down to tell me he was concerned about my statement as all women preachers were no better than witches. He gave me a list of scriptures to support his beliefs. Astonished, I brought this before God and asked for his help which began a journey of explaining and even doubting my calling. At the time my church was without a pastor, and I was walking this journey with no earthly council. It was to be a period of many trials. I even I began to pray for a husband at this time and got thrown of track because when God called me, the first question I asked “Who would want a single mother pastor?” The answer I was given was “By the time you are ready for your purpose, you will not be a single mother.” It wouldn’t be until we got a new pastor two years later and I asked for his council the pastor explained the context of the scriptures better and he booked a woman speaker. At my church we’re not big encouragers of females in ministry. When I hear women like Andrea Mills messages on God’s love, my heart just ached overflowing! I wept at the realization that a woman ministers to a part of the heart that a man can’t.

The very next week I went to Leith Baptist Church in Edinburgh and heard a message delivered by Haven Shank, a missionary from the U.S.  As she stood there weeping, speaking of trusting God and not losing our childlike dependency, I found myself weeping too. I heard God whisper “You’re a story, use it.” When I came back from praying in the Spirit Haven’s words were still in my mind. ‘We all have testimonies, we have to begin to tell people about the Father in our lives’ she said. I knew my calling was from God, and I was reassured the same place he found me 31 years before. I recognized the enemy had been pulling me off track and causing doubt in myself.

Runa Ringan - Ninians

On the 28th of October 2017 I went to Ninians point on the Isle of Bute (Scotland) for prayers. The weather was crazy, high winds and rain going sideways. I love storms for various reasons. I can feel and see the power of nature and the essence of God Himself. It reminds me just how much we are at His mercy and how big His love for us is. Even though we constantly get it wrong He doesn’t give up. I love to stand firm and call on God. It echo’s the Christian life. While life rages on as does the storm ‘stand firm’ and ‘be still.’ The wind was so hard I was shouting my prayers into it! I wasn’t asking God for anything. The only way I can explain what I was doing and saying was tearing my heart open through my mouth and expressing my love and trust. That is when I physically felt a big “click.” It was like if you open a safe and all the digits are lined up “click.” Then God showed me in the Spirit He had released my purpose and changed my future, through my conviction and by turning to Him completely. Stunned, I began to thank Him for this personal moment. I remember saying “I have no idea what you hold in my future but I trust you, I will obey, I will follow only you.” This was all still being shouted into the storm, but it wasn’t just words. My heart was wide open and my body was also crying in thanks.

Back to The Grind

That very afternoon I was back at work, I had a barber shop which I loved. My landlord came in and informed me she needed to serve me notice on the shop. After she had moved away to grieve, she was ready to return to the island. Right at that moment, while facing uncertainty a tsunami of peace hit the back of my head! I knew This was in God’s plan. I smiled at my landlord and ministered to her. She was amazed at my reaction. I closed up the barber shop in January and registered unemployed as our island has very little economy. I prayed daily at Ninians and diligently applied for jobs as required by the state, but never got them. During this time my time with God in prayer was heightening. He was showing me more of Himself and I was being taught how to pray by the Holy Spirit, revealing the type of relationship He truly wanted with me. He wanted ALL of me, every breath, every step and decision. I began to hunger for more of him and it felt reciprocated. Our love for our Father is after all, the ultimate love affair. Reflecting on my ‘life changing prayer’ at Runa Ringan (that’s what I call it) I recognize it now through other Christians observations I had a spiritual “shift.” It’s my personal belief how I prayed that day triggered it. We’ve been in the wilderness for years when it comes to how we pray. Churches have portrayed an angry and vengeful God creating a God to be feared in order to control society. Through these actions they have crippled the church but hallelujah it’s all changing! There’s a movement of the Holy Spirit prompting churches as a community to seek Him once more. I am full of enthusiasm and hope and I am praying into the body of Christ that HIS church is wakening up.

There are many reflections in this small part of my journey.   For instance, God’s timing, and what a true relationship looks like but my main highlight is how we pray. We’re called to have a true relationship with the Lord, Jesus came as a man and he got angry, and he wept as he knows our pain and he suffered unimaginably for us. All of the emotions make up life and God wants you in your entirety. He wants to carry you through you pain. He wants you to weep and release the pain before Him as he understands it and he shares it with you. He has you covered through it all.

God is not a man in the clouds with white hair who will be offended if you shout in prayer! It is not disrespectful. What is disrespectful is coming before our Father and holding back what He sees in your heart! Rip open your heart! Open up and let out what is in it love, joy, pain...... keep praying it out until you feel peace. Abba Father wants to enjoy your joy, smooth your pain, and heal you. He wants all of you. 

Nicola Sutherland

Nicola lives on the Isle of Bute off the coast of Scotland where she raises her kids and spends her time in ministry and Bible school and attends Ardbeg Baptist Church there.  If you would like to know more about the fascinating history of the Ministry at Runa Ringan click here:

https://runaringan.weebly.com/?fbclid=IwAR2bAM-8739uDEHDB98pkt_aPnzR5FKwsGcasYrxjkSdj1LFCGARMZrj3P4

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