Prayer: A Game of Telephone


There is a new kind of prayer I have begun to experience, and it’s oddly similar to the game of telephone that I used to play growing up. It goes something like this:

“Lord, I would like to pray for [fill in the blank]. I humbly ask you, Holy Spirit, that you place your words in my mouth. Speak through me in accordance with your will. Do this for your glory, not my own.”

After saying this prayer, I do my best to remain as disengaged to my own thoughts or my own will as possible, and as open to Spirit as I know how to be. I lightly hold the topic at hand before God, and I simply open my mouth to speak (or prepare my hand to write), discerning slowly, word-by-word, what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Worth noting is that, when I say discerning, I mean it in a way that’s much more like trying to make out what someone is saying in a noisy room, and much less like trying to make sense of what someone means by their words. Much like the game of telephone, the goal here is not to interpret, but to give voice to the exact words you hear; to become a vessel and nothing more; to enjoy this message relay; to be unafraid to speak nonsense; and to be willing to laugh, even if you make a fool of yourself.

For beginners, this is easier to do when you’re alone, without the risk of anyone hearing or interrupting you. But as you grow in the practice, you can actually pray over people in this way. It can be very powerful.

Try not to limit how God may want to pray through you. Remember that He is waiting for you to pray His will into existence. Trust that He wants to do this.

I did this a while back, asking God what he wanted to say to my church in a sermon that I was preparing. In less than two minutes, I wrote down this response, which I believe was dictated, word-for-word, by the Holy Spirit:

“How far have you strayed? How far have you roamed? Have you found what you’re looking for; reached your destination? Are you sure that the path you’ve chosen will take you there?

When I told you to follow Me, it wasn’t a suggestion. It wasn’t to be taken lightly, nor to be “considered” as to what degree I am to be followed. I meant all the way. I meant all of you. I also didn’t mean to take me with you, but rather to leave yourself and join Me. Beneath this command isn’t cold, rigid legalism. It is not to burden you or bind you or control you, but rather to free you, to save you, to love you.

There is no other way. There is no easier way, at least not that leads to Me. As hard as this may sound, it is not My wish that you be overwhelmed by it. It is My wish that you trust Me. It is My wish that you learn the sound of My voice, to trust it, rely on it, wait for it at all costs.”

I share this with you to boast, not in myself, but in God who is always faithful and willing to share his word with us. I shared this with my wife, and the very next day, she was pleased to see that God spoke to her in the very same way! I encourage you to try it out, and share with someone you love, too.


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