Holy Ground

Holy Ground

Nov 08
Holy Ground

This last Sunday night in our Life Group meeting, a fascinating question was raised:  What if we treat the places we are as if we were led to them by God?  What if we treat our work, home, and other “places” in life as holy ground?  How would that change our perspective and our approach to them?

We also discussed the usefulness of a “third place.”  For example, on “Friends” they were often at Central Perk.  On “How I Met Your Mother” they are often at MacLaren’s Pub.  A third place is somewhere that you can often be found outside of work or home.  It is also a prime opportunity for evangelism and discipleship.

I knew a preacher once who started mall walking.  He took his Bible with him every day and walked the mall with all the other people who go there to get in their morning walk.  Then he would sit and read his Bible.  I can’t remember how long he said it took, but eventually someone sat next to him and struck up a conversation about Jesus.  Having a third place gives us that opportunity as people come to see us, know us, and get comfortable around us.  I think it’s far more effective than the “door knocking” of times gone by.

I also think that it fits more with the idea of God leading us to the people with whom He wants us to minister.  We can be intentional and purposeful in our “places.”  We can treat them as holy ground where God has placed us for a purpose.

As has become our custom in our Life Group, we each spend time along with God.  As I have done each time, I went for another walk.  I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes and took off walking up the street.  As I walked, I prayed.  I asked God to show me my “third place.”  I don’t really have one.  I’d like it to be the gym, but I don’t currently go to a gym since we have one at my office.  The only places I frequent are work, home, and the church building.

As God and I talked about this idea of a third place, I realized that the point is in being purposeful for Him no matter where you are.

I have seen this modeled often by my dear friend Joshua.  When we go to dinner with Joshua and his family, he will frequently have a conversation with the server that goes something like this:  “Jane, we are about to pray over our meal and we would like to pray for you as well.  Is there something that we can pray about for you?”  Many times the server will actually tell us something we can pray for.  We always pray for the server by name, asking God to bless them in whatever they have shared with us.  If they haven’t told us what we can pray for, we still pray that God bless them and open their heart to Him.

So as I was walking and talking with God, I tried to be present in the moment.  I tried to let it be His.  I looked around me and tried to figure out how I could serve Him and the people of the neighborhood I was walking through.

Three things happened at the same time.  I reached a street corner.  My timer went off, letting me know it had been 10 minutes.  And I realized that I could pray for the families of this neighborhood.

I turned on that corner and looked at the house next to me.  I prayed, “God, please bless the family in this house.  Open their hearts to You and let them find in You the source of every joy they could ever want.”  I looked at the house across the street and I prayed, “God, please bless the family in this house.  Heal their hurts and comfort them in the trials that they face.”

With that, I walked back the way I had come.  I faced each house on that street and I prayed for every family.  For some, I ask that God bless them with their finances.  For others, I ask that God drive away the things that torment them.  For some I prayed for comfort and healing.  For others I prayed for peace.

But I prayed for all of them.

The real test came when I walked past a house where a woman was unloading things from her car in the dark.  I walked past, praying silently for her and her family, when that uncomfortable certainty overcame me.  I even said, “God I don’t want to do this.”  But I did.  I was on holy ground.

I walked back to her house.  I made a point of standing in the street a very safe distance away as I called out to her.  I said, “Hi.”  She returned my greeting.  I said, “I’ve been walking through the neighborhood praying for the families here.  Is there anything I can pray about for you and your family?”

She replied, “No, we’re pretty full.  We’re also believers.”

I’m not sure if she could see my smile in the dark, or if she could see the tension that swept out of me.  I said, “God bless you and your family.  Don’t let go of Him.”  Then I turned and resumed my walking and praying.

In that moment, I was present.  I was purposeful.  I was led by my God to holy ground and I treated it as His.  May He give me the strength and courage to do this even more and to be all the more bold for Him.

I finished by standing in front of the home where our Life Group was meeting.  And I prayed for the Family inside, for what we have found in Him and with each other, for all the families represented, and for all the children that God is adding to our families.  I prayed a special blessing on the family that lived in the house and who was hosting us that night.

As I walked inside, standing at the door were the two men I had most hoped to see that night.  They had both been on my heart and were a big reason why I had come to Life Group.  I realized I was again on holy ground.  I shared my experience of the night with them.  I listened to them talk about what God had revealed to them in their time alone with Him.  They spoke of challenges in their lives and how they want to be more Christ-like in everything.

I prayed over them both.

I am trying to become more and more intentional and purposeful in where I am and the people I encounter.  My prayer is that this blog becomes increasingly more and more a collection of stories that happen on holy ground.  May they bless and encourage all who come here and read them.

May they glorify the King.

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