My customary activity during the worship service on Sunday morning is to in an attitude of prayer and praise. Praying for the one who is preaching, I request that the gift of prophecy or teaching will be freed. Praying for people in the congregation I ask for them to be convicted of truth, for healing of their emotions or bodies.
It is not unusual to receive a sense of someone in trouble. For a while I was content just to sit still with this knowledge, but soon I learned that the gift had been given for ministry and that my Lord expected me to do something about those he laid on my heart.
Sometimes I know who needs a word of encouragement, or extra love. Other times I have to wait until that person is brought to me. The development of this gift is rooted in sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit, of learning to know when it is Him speaking to me, and of comprehending what it is I am supposed to do with the knowledge.
A surprising example of this gift occurred on a week’s vacation I took with friends in Denver. Exhausted myself, I had been shipped off by my husband, with my typewriter, to find some rest and time for the writing deadlines that were looming.
At the end of my week’s stay, we attended a newly formed house church. I wasn’t looking for ministry. Anonymity was delightful and my recent weariness prohibited the expenditure of much energy. I had spent much time, however, enjoying the company of my Lord in those mountains. We sat in the crowded family room for the worship service, and during communion I became aware that our hostess was carrying what I felt was fresh grief. Someone else was experiencing depression. During the communal prayer time, I lifted these people before the Lord arid asked that the light of His love would hold them.
That little group shared such a loving sense of warm fellowship, and when we left I inquired of my friend if she knew anything about the woman the Lord had laid on my heart. “Oh, yes,” she replied. “I just discovered this week they had recently lost a teenage son in a skiing accident.” Since I was leaving the next morning, there was no time for additional ministry, and I felt the Lord had given me that knowledge to be able to carry some burdens in prayer, which I have done.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.