Isn't it encouraging when God reminds you of who you are and what it is that He has called you to do?!
When I was at Fire in the Night, I prayed a lot and I loved it. I realized that I really have been created as an intercessor and that is my primary mandate. Now, I am also really gifted in counseling and helping people, but that's second. Praying is what I do first. This is what I was made for: to encounter God through prayer. I cry out to Him and He answers. I quiet myself and listen to Him speak to me too. My time at IHOP-KC affirmed this prayer calling and started me down the path to living as a committed intercessor in a HOP.
It's been almost a year since I did Fire in the Night and I have started reversing my mandates again. You see, I had wrongly made counseling my primary mandate way back in graduate school. And, I had continued this way for years until I got completely burnt out. The snatches of time that I would get in the prayer room when I was home from Chicago on weekends or watching live feed during my morning quiet times was insufficient. I was malnourished as an intercessor because I was hardly eating. To top that off, I was running a marathon every day that I went to work. Not surprisingly, the result was complete exhaustion. It took FITN for me to be nursed back to health and to realize that I had to pray first and counsel second. But, after almost 8 months back in the world of professional counseling, I have started to think of myself as a counselor first and an intercessor second.
But, God is so faithful! I love to pray over my clients and bless them at the end of our session. I don't do this for all of my clients because some of them aren't Christians and they are usually only open to prayer when they are in crisis. Occasionally, I will forget to pray for my clients and that happened one day last week. We had finished the session, scheduled our next appointment and I was at the door. My client, however, stayed seated. They looked at me, without moving, and said, "Aren't you going to pray for me again?" I am so thankful that I forgot to bless them because that moment impressed upon me that my prayer really is the best thing that I have to offer my clients. My counseling is great, but it doesn't compare to the power of God that is released through prayer.
God lovingly gave me another opportunity to understand the proper order of my mandates this week. I have been providing sozo prayer with a wonderful woman named Kim for a few months. When I arrived for our time this week, she informed me that I was going to be leading my own room. Let me tell you that I was completely panicked internally. I always provide sozo with Kim and she is a very gifted sozo leader. The thought of being in my own room and offering it without her was terrifying. I'm sure that at least some of my fear came through my face because Kim reassured me that it would be OK and that God said, "Tell Jody just to do what she does." Kim repeated this again and I thought, "OK, so counseling/sozo. I can do this. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God! Please help!"
We decided to open in prayer in my room. We praised God and prayed scriptures and blessings. An hour later, I almost laughed out loud when I realized that this is what I do! I pray. I bless. I praise God. And, this is what I was doing in my sozo room and it was exactly what God wanted to minister to that particular person.
As I drove home that night with the windows down and the cool breeze blowing in, I thanked God for affirming what I was quick to forget: I am an intercessor first and a counselor second. This truly is the right order for me. I am extremely well nourished in my spirit through the place of prayer and empowered to run the marathon of helping people get whole through God.
Father, please keep reminding me.
August 18: A gift red, read, written
#290: Sneaking out for a morning run with my beloved sister in preparation for our 5K (We left Ava in bed and Lily in the backyard with Dad.)
#291: Holly (Sndyer) Soupir's wedding and a chance to reconnect with family friends from way back in my childhood
- #292: A gift pink (I can't think of any red) was almost everything at Holly's wedding: bouquets, shoes, silverware and decorations
- #293: A gift read was 1 Corinthians 13 during the ceremony
- #294: A gift written was a letter from a dear friend that I received
- #295: When I can lose myself in worship
- #296: Taking the time to actually lay hands on people and pray for them
- #297: the WORD
- #298: the Bride of Christ
August 20: 3 gifts of serving
- #300: Offering sozo prayer
- #301: Cooking breakfast for my mom because it makes her smile
- #302: Kind words to affirm someone
- #303: 7 out of 8 clients came for their appointments
- #304: The way God patiently listens to what seems like confused, circular chatter on my part and how His comfort brings peace to my heart
- #305: Getting to sing for the first time in a while
- #306: A brand new day
- #307: Light streaming through the trees to touch my face like a kiss from God
- #308: Reading Ann Voskamp's most recent blog post: When You've Been Waiting for an Answer…and Life seems Silent. Light streamed right into my heart as I read