“Would you pray now that God would heal my ankle so I won’t need surgery this week?”
The Nicaraguan Young Life leader surprised me with this request right after I finished teaching.
She explained how it was injured and damaged from a motorcycle accident. Just a few days from now, surgery was scheduled.
Though I was exhausted I stepped out in faith. I know God can heal.
I laid hands on her right ankle and began to pray.
Would this be a kairos moment, a moment where God would move and reveal his glory through a physical healing?
Karios: Now Time
“Kairos” (kairos) is one of two Greek words used for time that is used in Scripture.
Greek dictionaries give the meaning in terms of
- due measure,
- a fixed and definite time,
- the time when things are brought to crisis,
- the decisive epoch waited for,
- opportune or seasonable time,
- the right time (Thayer’s definition).
Kairos moments are not measured by minutes or hours but by what is happening.
Examples from Scripture of where Kairos is used of time.
The time has come the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!Mark 1:15 (NIV)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Romans 5:6 (NIV)
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.Romans 13:11 (NIV)
A kairos moment occurs when it is God’s time to act in human affairs.
The Holy Spirit is present and moving in a person, situation, or group to accomplish some specific work for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Chronos: Measured Time
Chronos (xronos) is the other Greek word for time.
Greek dictionaries describe this as a space of time or interval. This space of time could be long or short.
This kind of time is measured in minutes, hours, days.
Compare the following verses using chronos time with those listed above:
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”John 14:9 (NIV)
For some time, he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!Luke 18:4-5 (NIV)
When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined.Acts 18:20 (NIV)
Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So, Paul warned them.Acts 27:9 (NIV)
Kairos Moments Happen in Chronos Time
There I was on that particular day, in the rural mountains of Nicaragua at a Young Life Training Camp.
It was the end of the 3rd class of the day. We had 25 minute break before the next one.
That’s Chronos time.
But when the Young Life leader asked me for prayer, would it be a Kairos moment when God would choose to decisively act and reconstruct this ankle?
A “kairos moment” is the time when the Holy Spirit is moving and ready to act.
A kairos moment is an invitation to cooperate with the Holy Spirit now.
Would this moment of prayer be one of those?
3 Parts of a Kairos Moment
We can describe three distinct parts to discerning and stepping into a kairos moment.
- The Spirit moving or hovering over the situation.
- The Word of God being discerned and spoken.
- The Word of God being met with faith and obedience in the hearts of those who hear.
1. The Holy Spirit Moving Over/In a Situation
Sometimes, we can discern or become aware of God’s presence. Maybe a sense of faith raises up in us that God is at work in this moment.
Some describe this as a holy hush, a sense of awe. For others it may be a sense a good “heaviness” in the room.
Some experience this as electricity flowing in their body, or intense heat in their hands. maybe a strong word forms in their mind.
Sometimes, we may not feel or think anything at all, but have a convicted certainty that God is at work and will act.
2. Guidance Discerned and Spoken
After discerning the Kairos moment might be happening, our step becomes getting guidance from God about how to act or speak.
We do that by listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
This might be a Scripture, or one of the other ways that God speaks to us in giving us guidance. In the case of prayer, it might be a leading to pray in a particular direction.
The key is we receive some guidance from the Holy Spirit on where he wants us to go or do.
In obedience, we pray, speak, or act in response to that prompting.
3. Step out in Faith and Obedience
In obedience, we pray in a direction.
We might say, “I feel like the Lord may be saying…”
We might say “I have a picture in my mind ….”
We might lay hands on a person and pray for a physical healing.
We might step out in faith and share the word of wisdom, knowledge or prophecy the Lord has nudged us with.
The key is that mix of faith and obedience that God is acting now.
What Happened When I Prayed That Afternoon
The Young Life leader had made her request of me to pray. I stepped out in faith and prayed.
I laid hands on her ankle and spoke prayers of blessing over her life and prayers for healing of her ankle.
As I prayed, I became aware of what others describe as “the weight of God’s presence.” It was mysterious and sacred. I was aware that God was at work.
I continued to pray for healing until that sense of God’s presence lifted.
I asked her how she felt. She reported her pain was gone and she could bear her full weight again on her ankle. (One of our four tests of discernment: Did it come to pass?)
She went to the doctor a few days later for X-rays, to mark up her foot for surgery (to make sure the surgeons would operate on the correct one). The end-of-week surgery was canceled because all the bones and joints were back in place.
That moment of prayer was a Kairos moment and the kingdom of God was advanced.
Read more: Types of Healing Ministry
Kairos Moments Can Happen in Your Ministry
Kairos moments can happen in your ministry.
They are those sacred moments when God choses to work through you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Kairos moments are moments of blessing others that you get to steward.
You get to cooperate with what God intends to do, as friends and co-laborers with Jesus in advancing the Kingdom of God.
It is exciting to be used by the Lord.
Seek Kairos moments in your ministry. You can grow in discerning them, stewarding them, and then stepping into them.
When you cooperate with what God wants to do, you get the joy of seeing God work through you.