21-year old Charles  was in trouble. Deeply depressed and despairing, he was struggling to believe he had anything to live for. Sensing his desperation was causing serious thoughts of suicide, his anxious fiancée contacted Charles’s praying mother. Numb with shock and dazed with distress, she in turn contacted his sister and aunt. I learned later of the different reactions of these women and marvelled at how the Holy Spirit led them in prayer. Mum went to prayer having no words, no emotional reaction, and a huge sense of emptiness. The Apostle Paul teaches, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” [Romans 8:26]. In that time of empty agony, Mum was communicating with Yahweh.
Meanwhile, Charles’s sister went about her daily commitments with a heart full of conflicting emotions. She became aware that she was experiencing all the emotions that were afflicting Charles and causing him distress. Although she didn’t realise it, she was carrying him on her heart and lifting him into the Presence of Yahweh in the same way that Aaron bore the names of Israel on his heart when he went into the Holy Place [Exodus 28:29].
On the other hand, when Charles’s Aunt heard the news, she was immediately swept into spiritual warfare by the power of the Holy Spirit. She was aware of a battle for her nephew’s mind and soul, and yielded herself to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
There are many ways to pray, and some of you will recognise one or more of those outlined here. I was privileged to have been given a glimpse of this specific prayer ’assault’ and was reminded that “a threefold cord is not quickly broken” [Ecclesiastes 4:12]. I thought of three very different types of prayer, ascending up to Yahweh for one needy soul, and remembered those “golden bowls full of fragrant incense, which are the prayers of the saints (Yahweh’s people)” [Revelation 5:8]. Others were also praying, and I had a sense of a beautiful, precious incense arising before our Father’s throne. When hearts unite in prayer the effects are amazing!
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