The week of Christmas and right after leading to New Year's is one of my most favorite times of the year. Extra vacation time plus holiday spirit are the best combination.
This year I was really looking forward to ringing in the New Year with a young adult conference, One Thing.
2016 has been a rough, messy, beautiful, growing year. While I can be grateful for what I am learning and how I've grown, it still has been a lot to absorb. And with all that has happened, praying my way into the New Year seemed the perfect note to end 2016 on.
My two girlfriends and I were attending a Catholic Ecumenical track of an evangelical conference associated with the International House of Prayer. I was excited but not sure what to expect.
The best way to describe it for me was a sacred disruption.
The first night we arrived we went to an opening talk and one of the speakers said something to the effect of being willing to be inconvenienced for Jesus. Something in that struck a deep chord with me. And as the conference progressed, that became the prayer on constant repeat in my mind, "Jesus I am willing to inconvenienced for you and your people for the rest of my life."
I didn't understand what exactly I meant, I just knew I really, really meant it deep down.
Several people shared and prayed prophetic words over my life. The times of corporate worship and praise were sacred and beautiful, a sneak peek into the throne room of Heaven. I loved the ecumenical spirit and sense of openness to Christians of other denominations. I loved learning the spiritual practice of antiphonal singing; a way of prayerfully singing and praying out Scripture (which is the way worship is led 24/7 in the prayer room).
All through the conference I would constantly pray that prayer in my heart.
Over the conference I met new people and heard a lot of talk on signs/wonder, healing, and prophetic gifts; both from Catholic and Protestant voices. I have always believed God still does miracles and heals people today.
But I never believed or understood that God wants to use me to do those things in the world today.
God wants to use Patty to spiritually and physically heal people. He wants to use me to do signs, wonders, and use prophetic gifts. God wants me to do those things in His world today.
As baptized Christians, those spiritual gifts are our birth right. The same authority Jesus gave the original 12 to do those things He gave to us.
That rocked me a lot. It might not sound a lot, and maybe I heard it before. But I never heard that with my heart. This was different.
Something feels different on the inside of me...and its kinda hard to explain.
No it is not emotionalism. It is not the conference or retreat high I always warn teenagers about when coming back from a great spiritual thing.
It is a sacred disruption.
I am still praying that prayer from the conference. I am constantly asking God to "pour out the prophetic gifts on me"... even though I don't fully understand what I am asking for yet.
But what I do know when we ask for more of God, that is a prayer He always will answer and bless...the rest is listening and see what the answer is.