Ephesians 6:18-19, Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.
We lost most of the day due to the twelve hour time change. We were all favored with our seating arrangements. Mark and I had an extra seat between us for the leg to Beijing, China. I tried to sleep, but I was too excited.
Grady, an adult whose wife had been my table leader at my first spiritual retreat weekend, questioned his presence on the trip because he did not see himself as a prayer person. At first, he resigned himself as Mark’s helper but his unfailing kindness to the whole team as we grew weary was a special gift and I know the Lord blessed him.
We finally touched down in Beijing and as we entered the airport the unbelievable oppression was immediately tangible to me and of intensity I had never felt. The evil here is thousands of years old, not just a couple of hundred years as in the United States. Mark and I were the first or second ones to approach the customs area in our group. We had specifically told our prayer intercessors exactly what time at home we would be there. The couple right in front of us was asked to submit to x-ray of their luggage. I believe the officials took one look at my exhausted face (and I really milked it for all it was worth) as I pushed luggage and Mark as he walked beside me with his arm in a sling and just waved us off. I know the Lord orchestrated that! The entire group of thirteen went through effortlessly. It was like, as a group, we were invisible!
Pastor John Mark smiled broadly as he saw us approach and confirmed later that he sensed our prayer coverage and preparation was sufficient. We meet Paul, a born again fired up believer and Peter, one of our American contacts in China who spoke fluent Chinese. And Matthew, a Philippine-American southern Baptist Pastor who left his state side ministry to be in full time mission in China. Wow, we already had our Peter, Paul and Matthew! Of course, Chinese and North Korean natives adopt a biblical name once they receive the Lord as savior. They do this out of respect for the Lord and for security reasons in the underground churches.
One to four thirty was an excellent time to pray. The Lord told me exactly what to sing and pray at the morning meeting with the team. Mark and I took communion, prayed on the armor of God, read Psalm 121, and anointed each other with oil from Israel. We did this every morning, just the two of us.
Thought: We are in a special protective bubble when we are in the center of God’s will and serving him. Action: This was my most fervent prayer that we stay in the center at all times.