I often receive mental images in my prayer. It’s one of the ways the Lord speaks to me. A clear image comes to my mind and I can see it playing out like a movie at times.
At the prayer meeting last week, as Mary Ann and I were leading praise and worship, in my mind’s eye I could see Jesus standing above us. He was carrying something in his arms, and as I focused in, I saw that his arms were overflowing with graces and gifts that he wanted to pour out on each person present. But it seemed like people were oblivious – distracted, preoccupied, thinking of their own problems – and not many people were tuned in to praising the Lord or in communion with God.
So I stopped singing and shared with everyone what I was sensing in my prayer – that Jesus wanted to bless us, was very eager to bless us.
Then we started singing one of Father Thomas’s favorite songs called The Royal Telephone*. I shared, “Father Thomas saw the importance of bodily gestures in praying. In this song, he would often hold up his hand like a telephone, as we’d do when we’re pretending to call someone up on the telephone.”
And I said to everyone, “Let’s do that. Let’s use our hand as a phone and ask Jesus for what we need, because he is here, willing and ready to bless us. But we have to ask him. Ask and you will receive…”
As we sang the song again, many of those present did that — pantomimed holding their hand up to their ear and speaking to Jesus via the “royal telephone.” But while some were fervent in prayer, others were still looking around and distracted. Again in my mind’s eye, I could see Jesus very sad. He has so much to give us, but we need to be open and receive it.
Father Thomas used to use the metaphor of a quarterback on a football team. The team can have the best quarterback in the world, who throws a perfect pass every time, but if there are no receivers on the other end, that skilled quarterback’s efforts are in vain. The ball just falls to the ground. Fr. Rick would say, “That’s how it is with us. Jesus is the best quarterback and has these wonderful things to shoot over to us. But we need to be paying attention, alert, our eyes on God, our arms open. As the Lord promises in Psalm 81:10, ‘Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.'”
Remembering all of this, I said to the Lord, “Lord, even if everybody here isn’t receptive and open, I want to receive all your blessings and graces on their behalf. I ask you, through my act of receptivity, to pour it out on them. Don’t let anybody go home tonight without receiving a blessing from you.”
And at that, I saw the Lord smile and he was very happy. His arms could totally empty out now. Over each person flowed blessing after blessing, grace after grace. Jesus was happy, I was happy, and I know everybody got blessed.
So pick up that royal telephone. Call Jesus up and ask him for what you and your loved ones need. Then be open and ready to receive grace upon grace.
*The Royal Telephone | Frederick M. Lehman
He is never busy, always on the line;
You can speak to heaven, yes at any time;
It’s a royal service, free to one and all;
When you get in trouble, give this royal line a call.
Telephone to glory, oh, what joy divine!
I can feel the current moving on the line,
Made by God the Father for His very own,
You can talk to Jesus on this royal telephone.
copyright: Public Domain