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Urge to Push

Urge to Push. How the activity of the Holy Spirit Guides the Christian in prayer and in sharing the Gospel.


In today's post, Urge to Push, we will learn about the activity of the Holy Spirit in a Believer's life; how He guides us in prayer and in sharing the Gospel.

Urge to Push in Prayer


I grew up in the Catholic church.  As a little girl, I earned the title, 'Worry Wart".  {You can read about how the Lord redeemed that title in my post, Worry Wart, which you can read HERE.} I found great comfort in the rote prayers of the rosary and would recite them every night.   I didn't understand how to pray except by reciting the Hail Mary's and Our Father's of the rosary.  During Sunday morning services, my only exposure to people praying out loud was when the priest and the congregation recited prayers together of the Catholic faith from the Homily.

Many years later, before surrendering my life to Christ, my friend invited me to attend Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs), a faith-based organization for mothers to gather together to spend time in Bible study and fellowship.  This was my first experience in a Bible study.

I sat in a room with about 10 other moms as they talked about the Bible.  I remember thinking how these women seemed different, different in a good way, a way I wanted to be...

As they closed the Bible study, the leader introduced prayer time, where each mom was invited to pray out loud, lifting up their prayer requests and interceding for others.  My heart started pounding; my mind was racing!  I thought to myself, "I've never prayed out loud in front of other people before!  What am I even supposed to say??  How do I pray??"  But then I heard a female voice entering in through my racing mind.  It was the Bible study leader saying, "It's okay if you don't feel comfortable praying, you can pray silently along with us."  I remember thinking, did the Bible study leader see the look of panic on my face??  Or was this something they typically said to make new visiting moms not feel pressured to pray.   All I know is I was relieved!

I bowed my head with the other women and listened to them pray... One by one they humbly interceded for each other and lifted their own prayer requests to God above.  I was amazed at how conversational the prayers were, as if talking to a friend,  but they were talking to God Almighty!  There was such a comfortableness in how they prayed.  It was evident that these moms had a personal relationship with God {even though at the time I didn't really comprehend what a personal relationship with God was...}.  I also found it interesting that each uplifted prayer was closed by saying "In Jesus Name"... yet I did not understand the significance...

For the next eight months, I would attend the monthly MOPs meetings with my friend, and each month, I learned more and more about prayer and how believers talked to their Heavenly Father...  Learning how the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray, urges us to push, even when we no not how to.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27

I don't remember participating in praying out loud that first year, but the impact of how the women prayed planted seeds that would eventually grow in my own prayer life.

And... little did I know, that first year I attended MOPs, two women, Cindy & Ruth, whom I didn't even know at the time {friends of the friend who invited me to MOPs}, were praying for my salvation.  They heeded the urge to push...

When I finally met Cindy, she started to open the Scriptures to me which would eventually lead me to the Lord.

{To read more about my testimony, please head on over to my post, The Story God Wrote For Me - Anxiety Saved Me, which you can read HERE.}

Cindy & Ruth became dear sisters in Christ to me. They had begun to pray for my husband's salvation.  About a year after I surrendered my life to Christ, my husband became a believer.

My husband and I began attending a Protestant church and also joined an evening Bible study with Cindy & Ruth, their husbands and a few other couples.  I also attended a weekly morning Bible study with Cindy.

It was during those Bible studies, that the Holy Spirit grew the seeds planted during my first year at MOPs into a prayer life where He led me to pray both personally in silence and corporately out loud.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how 
to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for 
words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27

A couple years later my husband and I attended a church that had a weekly prayer meeting; the whole intent of the service was to gather together to pray.  It was then that I learned the power of corporate prayer; the edification, encouragement and hope of saints gathered together, interceding for one another to their Heavenly Father.

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Matthew 18:19-20

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:16

It was also during those prayer meetings that I had MY first spiritual urge to push...

Anyone who has delivered a baby has experienced the urge to push - when their body, independent of its own will, just naturally needs to push.  The feeling is very powerful and nothing can stop it.

I have felt this way during prayer meetings - not at every prayer meeting, but on a few occasions a prayer would suddenly come to my mind causing my heart to pound, my palms to get sweaty and a sense that I must share the prayer request laid on my heart...

I believe that everything we pray has it's leading from the Holy Spirit, and every prayer is equally important.  I'm not sure why I experienced a spiritual urge to push on these few occasions, but I have always felt in those situations the Holy Spirit wanted me to obey and pray.  The following quote from Edward M. Bounds seems to shed some light on the spiritual urge to push during prayer.

  "The Holy Spirit is not only our Teacher, our Inspirer and our Revealer, in prayer, 
but the power of our praying in measure and force is measured by the Spirit's power working 
in us, as the will and work of God, according to God's good pleasure... The projecting power
 of praying outwardly was the projecting power of God in us...  
The mightiest operation of God in us brings the mightiest praying."


Urge to Push in Sharing the Gospel


There is another area where I have felt the spiritual urge to push and that is in sharing the Gospel.

I must preface this by saying, I am not a natural evangelist by any stretch.  I would not at all say that evangelism is my gift.  I am shy by nature and the thought of just walking up to someone and sharing the Gospel is anxiety provoking.  Our church used to go caroling at Christmas time, knocking on doors, singing and then sharing the Gospel.  I would always stand to the back of the crowd.  It wasn't that I was ashamed - I was just out of my comfort zone...

But there have been several occasions where the spiritual urge to push overtook me, and I knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me to share the Gospel... right then and there!

One such occasion was after our Pastor had challenged the congregation to pray for the Lord to provide an opportunity to share the Gospel.  I sincerely prayed that prayer, but to be honest, I'm not sure I prayed it truly believing it would happen, given my feelings on being an inadequate evangelist...

Later that week a local college girl knocked on our door.  She was selling aerial photos that had been taken of all the homes in our neighborhood.  It was neat to see our house from above, taking note of the cars in the driveway, and the pool toys floating in our backyard pool.  I don't normally buy from people who are selling door to door, but I liked the picture and found it really interesting.  The girl selling the photos was very kind and easy to talk to.  While we were talking, we could hear thunder in the distance and the clouds were growing very dark.  She said that someone had dropped her off in the neighborhood and wouldn't be coming to pick her up for a while.  {She had just planned to walk to the next neighborhood to continue her sales.}  It was getting close to dinnertime and the thunder was getting louder and the lightening visible.  I invited her to come in.  {Again, I would NEVER just invite a door to door solicitor into my home, but I felt at ease with this girl and did so despite what I normally would do.}  She saw my homeschool books on the kitchen table and began asking me about homeschooling.  It was then that the spiritual urge to push came. I shared my own personal testimony with her.  She stayed for dinner and after we finished, her friend came to pick her up.  I never saw her again...

Even though the Lord answered my prayer in providing someone to share the Gospel with, I wondered whether she was sent for me to lead her to Faith or to grow my own faith, obeying as the Lord urged me to share the Gospel, which normally would have been out of my comfort zone... especially to a complete stranger...

As I lay in bed that night, reflecting on what had transpired, this verse came to my mind:

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

It is a magnificent privilege to be a tributary for God's Kingdom work.  Let us not resist the urge to push when the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray boldly or to share our faith.  For in so doing, we may be entertaining Angels or leading a person to the way everlasting through Jesus Christ.

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Comments

  1. Hello Karen, this is a powerful testimony of obedience. Simply yielding to the urge of the Holy Spirit can save a soul!
    You have shared the tremendous power of corporate prayer. Thank God you listened obeyed and still longed for more. I am grateful for those sisters who prayed for your salvation.
    Finally Karen God doesn't use the perfect and qualified He uses the willing, yielding and obedient for His glorious work.
    God Bless your heart

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    1. Ifeoma, Indeed!

      “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12

      It is amazing what God has entrusted His people to do through the power of the Holy Spirit.

      Thank you for your kind words. You are always a blessing. :-)

      Delete
  2. Karen, I so agree with Ifeoma's comments...this is such a powerful post! I will share it with our MOPs Leaders...it is such an encouragement. The beautiful way you describe "the urge to push" resonates with me...that's really all we have to do is to be yielded to the powerful river of the Holy Spirit, He is so faithful, He will do it through us. Many blessings to you ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, Thank you. Praising God for His leading.

      MOPs is actually a big part of my testimony. I actually wrote a guest blog post for Live Nourished where I talk about the profound impact MOPs had in leading me to Christ. Here is the link if you'd like to share with your MOPs leaders: http://www.livenourished.net/miss-goody-two-shoes-guest-post-by-karen-del-tatto/

      It's amazing how we can be that "powerful river" of the Holy Spirit just by living our lives how He leads us; our Christ-like behavior shining forth.

      Thank you so much for visiting. Your words have blessed me.

      Blessings to you. :-)

      Delete
  3. Two weeks ago during outdoor school, the speaker asked our students to find someone and to pray out loud with their partner. I cringed, and then I started praying. Most of our students have NEVER prayed before. Many of them don't believe in God. I was uncomfortable for them. But, I shouldn't have worried. The Holy Spirit took care of everything and many of those students experienced a wonderful awakening to their God and creator during the week of outdoor school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of those students.

      Thanks for stopping by! :-)

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful testimony. I was blessed with an earthly father who spoke to my heavenly Father in a way that taught me love and trust from the beginning of my life. So thankful He is our brother and friend and wants us to share everything with Him!

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    Replies
    1. Carol, Thank you.

      Thank you for sharing your story. :-)

      Indeed. Our great God love us so much!

      I'm so glad you visited today!

      Delete
  5. I can so relate to this urge to push and know it so clearly that it is the Holy Spirit when He has given me something to say or to pray. I love how you laid out how God built your prayer life - it's such a strong testimony!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jen! All Glory and Honor to Him who wrote my story. :-)

      Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  6. I have never thought of my feeling this way but it makes so much sense. It is the urge to birth a new beginning or at least a new desire for a new beginning in someone. I've felt it and also the wonderful joy when your feelings grow a desired fruit. Love this insightful post.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca, Thank you for sharing your story and the Holy Spirit's leading in you.

      Thank you very much for your kind words! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. Such a powerful story, Karen! Being courageous to what God has called us to do can be scary but so worth it.

    That spiritual push is sometimes just what we need to take that step forward. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Sharita, All Glory and Honor to Him! :-)

      Indeed, it is.

      Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  8. Thank you for this powerful testimony. I also grew up Catholic and understand your feelings about prayer and praying out loud. Your words brought back memories of my own journey. Thank you for sharing this at Weekend Whispers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, Praising God for His work in my life.

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      Blessings to you. :-)

      Delete

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