Purposed Prayer (In Honor of Veteran’s Day)

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning too deep for utterance.  And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.  Romans 8: 26-27 (Amplified)

There is no way I’m getting up tonight.

It was 3 a.m.—the witching hour, according to some.  It was also time for me to get up and pray as had been my routine for the past week.  I had been led to get out of bed and find a secluded spot in our quarters at this hour to spend time with God, and it was becoming a routine.

This particular night though, an arresting sense of disease kept me still in my cot.  I scanned the room, not seeing anyone unusual.  My two roommates appeared to be in their cots.  No one was stirring.  All was quiet.   But the thick red haze lingered.  Lying there, I could feel fear sucking out my courage.   I blinked to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but the thick red haze remained.

My heart raced…it had nothing to do with nerves, although I wished it had been.  Something this sinister could only be a work of satan himself.

Only he could be responsible for the red cloud filling the room; the burning smell of sulfur that slapped me in the face.  If I hadn’t been awake before, I knew I was now.  I lied there stock still in my cot underneath sheer mosquito netting, which was now for me a safe haven, trying to make sense of what was happening around me.

I was in the same room with the same people, but it seemed like there was a different presence there—an evil one.

So I began to pray intensely.   Like my courage, words escaped me.  I remembered what I had been taught about a function of the Holy Spirit—when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit will intercede for us.  I let Him do His thing.  It was a blessing to be filled at that moment.  I prayed and prayed right there on my back until I could feel my courage come pouring back into me and an extraordinary peace surround me.  Sleep soon came, and so did the morning.

The next day, I didn’t mention the previous evening’s strange happenings because I didn’t think anyone would understand.  What was I really going to say?  “The devil was in here last night.”  Heck, I didn’t even know how to explain what had happened.

Later that evening, as my roommates and I sat around talking, a revelation hit me.

“The weirdest thing happened last night,” said Sgt. Toth, one of my roommates.  “Somebody was in our room.”

“In our room?”  I asked, fearing the unknown.

Who knows what his intention may have been:  to steal something from us, rape one of us, or maybe even kill one of us.  Whatever it was though, thankfully, God did not allow it to happen.

“He was standing over me, and I was in such a deep sleep that I just swung my arm at him,” she said.  “When I realized someone was actually there I grabbed my flashlight to see him.  That’s when he ran.”  She chased him out of the building, but could not catch him.

My mouth dropped in disbelief.  It was the same night I sensed the demonic presence, but I was completely oblivious to everything else she recounted.  I must have drifted back into a deep sleep after praying.  It was all so confusing and bizarre and unexplainable because I had never encountered the spiritual world in that way before.  Ironically, I never got up to pray again not because I was afraid, but because I no longer felt compelled.

After sharing that incident with a few people they helped me to see that those nights of intense prayer leading up to that night was preparation and protection for what was to come.  The Lord needed someone to stand in the gap and pray on all of our behalf, and I was the one chosen for the job.  Who knows what satan would have done had I not been obedient to the Lord leading me to pray for covering for everybody in the building and possibly even everyone at Camp Anaconda?  At the time I didn’t know what I was praying for, but I’m glad I was sensitive to the voice of my spirit.

And I am even gladder I didn’t get up that night.

Has something similar ever happened to you?  Has the Holy Spirit used you to intercede for a future situation?

Written in 2009 to recount an event that took place during my year-long deployment to Iraq back in 2003.

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