We work with people who are choosing to make changes to the choices they make. But they have trouble seeing the choices they want to make because their history gets in the way. They have been responding to a given circumstance in a certain way for so long it is hard to respond in a different way.
I have been praying with Tim once a week for seven years now.
We knew it was going to be an experiment to see if our time together over the phone would spawn any true change in Tim’s life.
Our format is very simple. We begin our time with Tim sharing about his week. Then Tim spends time appreciating God for all He had been doing in Tim’s life the past week.
Then I pray asking God what He wants Tim to know.
Then I turn the prayer time over to Tim and while Tim is praying I get to listen to the Lord to make sure Tim is really hearing God’s voice and not someone else or a memory loop in his head.
One of the most exciting aspects is when Tim shares with me what he hears the Lord saying to him.
I used to tell him what he should be doing and how he should be reacting. Now I listen more and talk less. I find myself asking Tim “What does God want you to know?” Then I listen again as the Lord uses the same words I would have used, but because the Lord said it – Tim takes it in and receives it better than if I told him.
The experiment of discipleship over the phone has been a success.
Tim has changed from the fear ridden individual I first met to one who is more confident in himself. He still has to deal with the circumstances of life, the people he is around and the future that looms before him. The difference is now he has changed the choices he makes as he responds to those circumstances!
Once again, I am reminded that, “Life is full of choices, and the choices I make today will determine the qualities of my life both now, and in the future.”