“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us....” Romans 12:6a (NIV)
When I visited the Toronto Vineyard in the mid-nineties, a member of the prayer team prayed I would receive the gift of prophetic intercession. After that, praying became my favourite pastime. I liked to pray all day long, especially while doing mundane tasks like ironing, folding laundry, vacuuming or dusting. Sometimes I would pray in tongues.
A concern or a person’s name would pop into my head; or I would meet someone who could use a prayer. One day, I met a friend. “Marian,” she said, “Someone told me you know what to do about blocked tear ducts.” My friend looked at me, her eye askew–the whole area beside her nose painfully swollen.
As babies, four of my children had blocked tear ducts: that made me an expert. “You massage it like this,” I said, poking my finger at the swollen corner of her eye.
“Ahwwww!” she pulled away, wincing.
I’ll pray for it,” I offered lamely.
That afternoon I prayed that she would be healed.
Later my friend told me how the swelling and soreness had disappeared during a 10-minute afternoon nap the very day we had met.
On another occasion, I prayed for help finding a bike for Michelle. I decided to look at garage sales in the more well-to-do areas of town. While sitting in the van waiting at an intersection, I noticed a sign for a garage sale at a nearby townhouse complex. I had already disregarded that particular sale, but the Holy Spirit was directing me there.
Michelle and I went and sure enough we found a pink bike, just the right size and in great condition. Michelle liked it immediately. We bought it for $25.
I also perceived the Lord cleaning up my life. When I became confused, thought bad thoughts or had ugly dreams, I knew something was wrong. I would rebuke the evil and examine myself for sins. I reviewed the day. Did I sin while talking to the school principal? To the secretary? To my neighbour? Yes, I did. I told her I would leave Amanda with her 10 minutes when I knew very well it would be more like 30 minutes. I lied.
“Forgive me, Lord. Thank you for paying for that lie on the cross.” Through this process, the Holy Spirit showed me the sinful habits he wanted me to leave behind.
Of course, the Holy Spirit had started working in my life since long before my Vineyard experience, but I was never so aware of Him.