Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Introduction To This Series
This is the first of four posts regarding certain words of encouragement, prophecy, preparation, and strategic operations for the Body of Christ for the coming year of 2018. Part 2 will feature three “battle plans” for the season of intensified spiritual warfare just ahead. Part 3 will cover enemy tactics and wise responses based on both the writings of Sun-tzu from his classic work The Art of War and spiritual warfare as covered in Ephesians 6:10-20, and Part 4 will cover several strategies illustrated in the book of Nehemiah regarding how to then go about our work as believers while countering the enemy’s tactics.
“The effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
My sister Claire shared this word of prophecy spoken at her church’s intercessory prayer group recently:
In 2018 the Holy Spirit will be bringing prodigals home.
The anecdote that follows, offered here as encouragement and an illustration to bolster faith for those who have been interceding for a lost loved-one, is an example of how God “intercepted” one such prodigal who recently crossed paths with Claire.
It is not hard to imagine that this young woman, “Erin,” disheveled, disoriented, and decidedly NOT in her “right mind” at first, has likely been the object of many intercessory prayers by her worried family members.
So take heart and keep praying, Mom, Dad, sibling, aunt, Grandma, or other intercessor, for if the prophecy above is true (subject to the test of time), your loved one is very likely on the way home, too.
Clothed and In Her Right Mind
by Claire Beveridge Gumbs
As I walked through the main parking lot at work that day, coming toward me was a young lady who was chattering away to herself. She was dressed in unusual clothing, had a shaved head, and oddly painted on eyebrows. Although it was raining, she was splashing through the water in bare feet, and holding a pair of flip-flops in one hand.
At the moment we intersected I felt the compassion of Jesus and so smiled at her and asked if I could help her with anything. She began a disconnected account of something and then asked if I was from Mental Health Services. I said no, but I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus.
At the moment I spoke His Name, she stopped her animated movements, looked me right in the eye (her eyes had been darting wildly about just prior), and calmly said, “I’m a Christian too, I was raised in a Christian home.” We exchanged names and I asked if I could pray with her. She said yes and stuck out both hands. I took them and prayed for this lost daughter.
I cannot remember my exact prayer, but when I was done, she became agitated again and suddenly looked to her right. She spoke to something that was not visible to me and declared, “But I don’t want to do meth anymore!”
At that moment the Holy Spirit prompted me to say something else, so I asked her if I could. She said yes, so I looked in the same direction she was talking and quietly, but firmly stated, “You heard her; let her go.'”
Then I heard the Lord speak these words in my spirit: “It left.” Erin’s peace returned.
Before we parted company, I gave her a warm hug and spoke to her as if she were my own beloved daughter, telling her she is a blessing, and to take care of herself, wishing I could do more.
As I watched her walk away I felt the Holy Spirit letting me know that He has more deliverance for her on her road ahead (Proverbs 11:21 states that “the seed of the righteous shall be delivered”) and that whenever she comes to mind, to prophesy these words concerning her: “clothed and in her right mind.”*
When I returned from lunch, I learned from the receptionist that the whole “showroom” (i.e., staff working in the main office area where I work that is ringed with large windows) had been watching our interaction and wanted to know what had transpired.
So I unfolded this miraculous act of compassion that Jesus did.
How great is our God!
For another true story of an answer to the “effective, fervent prayer” of a praying mother that “availed much” read here about a young man caught up for a period of time in a religious cult.
*Reference: Mark 5:15.