On any given Thursday night, the conversation careens across a broad landscape from curly hair salon referrals to insider reviews of adult day programs in town. From rating See's candy to tips on adapting pre-vocational skills in your very own laundry room.
Over the past year in the Parent Meeting that runs concurrently with our San Diego Young Life Capernaum Club, we have experimented with collecting prayer requests and even sharing a devotional but, this night was different. I think we've opened in prayer before but, maybe this was the first time we'd actually, literally, invited the Holy Spirit to join us. "We welcome you here Holy Spirit. Will you join our conversation and also be with the kids and leaders. In Jesus' name,...."
As we lifted our bowed heads and opened our closed eyes, I saw a new face across the table--sobbing. A mom just like the rest of us, though we had yet to meet her. "Do we know... Are you... Is this your first...Who...how...what's...," I fumbled over an introduction as someone handed her tissues. She didn't need to go very far into her story of 2 boys with multiple labels and a pending divorce before we mercifully interrupted her, "we just need to pray with you, if that's okay."
Two of us (who could readily recall being there) slipped into an adjoining room with her and then up to the throne room of heaven. We were quickly flooded with words of comfort and promises from Scripture to declare on her behalf. How much better than our own advice! Our new friend left with a dozen new comrades bonded by similar life experience and tears shed of one accord.
When we invite the Holy Spirit, He shows up!
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner like all my fathers. Psalm 39:11-13
This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. Psalm 119:49-51
Praise be to the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:2-4