For the last 5 years, Jan and I have been seeing the number, “9:19”, everywhere. We see it on the digital clock in our bedroom, on our microwave oven, our computers, smartphones and all places digital. It has been quite amazing how many times we have seen that number. Jan researched every Scripture with the reference of 9:19. There are some trends, but no, “Thus saith the Lord.”
There are other times when I see numbers that may not repeat with the frequency of 9:19, but they capture my attention because of the people involved or the history they carry. For example, “4:27” reminds me of the powerful motor my childhood friend put in his classic 1955 T-Bird. When I saw that number, I prayed for my friend. Once I saw, “3:57” and thought of the caliber of the revolver I carried as a cop and remembered a rookie I trained and prayed for him. Another time I saw “3:37” and thought of a professional pilot I know who used to fly a Cessna 337 Skymaster. The number “3:36” reminded me of a classic Marlin Model 336 30-30 rifle owned by a friend during my first pastorate in Montana. He loved to hunt. That number took me back 35 years and ignited a prayer.
We Christians like to find cryptic meaning in numbers. If it is done right, there is nothing wrong with that kind of inquiry. Some of those searches for numerical meaning can get a bit strange and squirrely if not leashed to wisdom.
Here is what I have come away with regarding numbers. In my life, I have found the recognition of a particular number can be a Spirit-led connection to a person or a past event. The number captures my attention long enough to pause and pray for someone or an event. For most of these prayers, I have no idea why I am praying. There have been times the prayers contained a specific revelation, but most of the time I simply prayed for God to provide what was needed for His will to be accomplished in a life or circumstance in that moment.
God can use a variety of ways to gain the attention of His Church to pray for people and circumstances we might otherwise miss in the busyness of our lives. These memories become spiritual speed bumps that slow us down. Maybe the answer to why a particular number gained our attention was not as mysterious as we first imagined. It could be as simple as God extending an invitation for us to pray or prophesy.
When an unusual reminder comes the next time, like a number that gains your attention, stop. Stop and listen to the Spirit and pray for the person or circumstance connected to the number. At that moment, you may get something personally insightful. You receive an assignment to pray, give or serve that will actually open the door to the meaning of the number that first captured your attention.