“Can you give an example of ordinary Christian prophecy today?” someone asks. “What does it look like when it occurs?”
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The long-time preaching minister at my home congregation resigned early in 1996, sending us into a search for God’s replacement which lasted into 1997. About October 1996, after much prayer and diligent labor, we elders invited Rob McRay and his wife Judy of the Northtown Church in Milwaukee to fly down to Houston for a weekend of intense visiting with our church. Rob could not come until January, and he had no intent of leaving Northtown. However, he felt he should be open to God’s possibilities, so he and Judy came down in January for the weekend as we requested.
The weekend went well and culminated in a meal with elders, ministers and spouses on Sunday night. Following dinner and visiting, we concluded with a season of prayer, after which Rob told us, “I feel ‘called’ TO the Bering Drive Church but I must also feel ‘sent’ FROM Northtown if I am to make a move.” He told me later he thought that would not ever happen, as neither he nor his own church had spoken of any change in their relationship.
The following Saturday Rob attended a scheduled congregational meeting with the Northtown folks in Milwaukee, telling them for the first time of his visit with us and of our interest in him. That meeting also ended in a period of prayer. During the prayer, Greg Spencer, one of the elders, received a strong sense that he should give Rob a particular message. Rob told Greg that he had been asking God for guidance, and that he welcomed any word Greg might have. “I think I am supposed to tell you,” said Greg, “that Northtown is not only to ALLOW you to go to Houston but we are to SEND you to that church.” He then added another detail he had received. The McRays subsequently moved from Northtown to Bering Drive in Houston, convinced that God had brought us together.
This is a little story of what I call “ordinary Christian prophecy,” in a church setting that does not talk often about such things, or have a history of involvement in these matters. Perhaps God would say much more to the churches if the churches were more interested in hearing from him.