RJ*, his wife, 3 young kids, dad, stepmom and I sat together at a table for dinner. The 8 of us were casually chatting when out of the blue RJ shared with me how he had never stepped a foot into a church and certainly never prayed. What happened next was truly supernatural. A group of about 30 had gathered together for a Sunday night meal in an unused room in one of the motels on East Colfax. As we finished up the pork loin and mashed potatoes and were getting ready for dessert, each person at the table was asked to share an item of thanks and a prayer need.
RJ’s face brightened as he gave thanks for being able to transition out of the hotel, which the five of them had somehow managed to live in for the past 11 months. RJ’s family and his parents were pooling their money together and moving into a rented house. With a big grin he added, “I want to pray every night with my family at the dinner table just like we are doing tonight!” Hearing this I said, “RJ, why don’t you start us out tonight in prayer.” He bowed his head, opened his mouth and the Holy Spirit took over and flooded this 30- year old man’s words with undeniable passion and power. As he finished I was so overwhelmed that I found it hard to pray myself and uttered a few words and said amen.
As we unclasped hands RJ’s wife was sobbing on his left and his father was wiping away tears on his right. His three beautiful children sat quietly taking in all that had just happened. It was a holy moment and I too was speechless. I kept thinking to myself this was like the book of Acts where God showed Himself glorious.
Over the last few weeks I have reflected on heaven coming down into that simple room through RJ’s prayer, I was reminded how God uses relationships fostered through prayer to build His Kingdom. For 11 months several team members from Jesus on Colfax have been praying with RJ and his family. Every week “the church” brought food, love, and prayers to this family. The Holy Spirit used it all to open up hearts for the love of Christ to enter into their hotel room. These prayers and the presence of His followers began to change the atmosphere.
RJ and his family came that Sunday night because the Holy Spirit was working through relationships of love that draws people to Jesus. I strongly believe this next wave of God’s Spirit will be all about authentic relationships of love. Hearts captivated by Jesus’ love will reach out to others at work, the coffee shops, neighborhood, gyms, or wherever the Spirit may lead to be waves of the Father’s love.
RJ and his family may have never felt comfortable walking into a church but through love “the church” walked into his hotel room. Jesus made this powerful declaration the night before He went to the cross:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34
Jesus moved in to our neighborhood and loved us in the midst of our sin. I believe a new wave of love is forming, calling us to move into the lives of others building relationships through the Spirit of His transforming love. Today ask God to lead you to someone you can build a relationship with who needs His love through you!
*Name changed to protect identity