A glimpse of the Holy Spirit and the Mystery of Prayer:
During my freshman year in college my dear friend Mia and I mentored a small group of Jr. High girls from our church. The following summer I joined Mia as her co-counselor during the week the girls were at summer camp.
Toward the end of the week I found myself in the prayer chapel talking with one of our girls. We talked for a while and then ended our time together in prayer. After praying for her best friend who didn’t yet know Jesus, the camper ended her prayer with a request that to me, was just as amusing as it was surprising. Her prayer went something like this:
“Please give the counselors courage to share the gospel with their campers. Help them to speak with boldness and in love, to not be afraid but to seize every opportunity to tell each camper about Jesus.”
I was amazed at how big and mature of a request this was coming from one so young. It was entertaining because I thought, “counselors don’t need prayer for courage to share the gospel, that is the essence of why they are here! What they need is prayer for energy and stamina to keep up with the kids!”
Each day during the last hour of free-time was a counselor’s meeting. I finished praying with my camper and then went off to join the other counselors. During the meeting the program director asked if anyone had any prayer requests or problems we needed help solving. One of the first counselors to raise their hand shared the following:
“I could really use prayer for courage to share the gospel with my campers.”
I had goosebumps before she was done speaking. Immediately I shared with her what I had just witnessed not more than 30 minutes prior. Long before the counselor was even aware of her own need, the Holy Spirit planned to prompt a young camper to pray for her request!
Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information. (Wiki’s definition)
Since that day, I have witnessed dozens of similar instances. At times when circumstances happening in someone else’s life were completely unbeknownst to myself or others, the Holy Spirit has brought particular people, places and petitions to mind with such deep conviction and even urgency at times, one is compelled to obey by praying for that which the Spirit put on the heart and mind of the petitioner.
The way I see it, these experiences speak as one cogent voice proving and defending the reality of the living Christ and the active work of His Holy Spirit in the world today.
Prayer is such a beautiful mystery. And the Holy Spirit an even greater one still! I am quite skeptical I will in this life obtain any significant understanding concerning the relationship between the two or how a steadfast, God-given faith can through prayer and the power of the Spirit move mountains, part seas, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out evil spirits and stir the hearts and hands of both sinful men and a Sovereign God. And yet it does.
Mysteries such as these are to me another voice of persuasive apologetics. This is one way I know God is not only real but also the only one worthy of all our praise and adoration: I don’t understand Him. He is so far beyond my comprehension. If, like a gold statue made by the hands of men, I could understand everything there is to know about a so-called-god, it would then cease to be worthy of my worship. The Living and Almighty God on the other hand, is so much bigger than I and His ways so much higher than my own. I am merely left with the choice to stand in awe, kneel in wonder or bow in humility before my infinite God and King: Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the universe and beyond.