Early on in my ministry as a Chaplain, I learned that I could not do the work apart from the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, we read about our Helper, the Holy Spirit, as the Comforter: “One called alongside,” parakletos.
The Amplified Bible best describes the work of the Comforter:
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever-”
The Holy Spirit as Comforter, is available to every Christian that calls upon Him for help, strength, and counsel; and He is quick to intercede for those who cry out to Him in their time of need.
On May 21, 1998 our neighboring community, Springfield, Oregon, experienced the worst tragedy in that city’s history when a troubled 15-year-old boy brutally killed his mother and father and proceeded to carry out a mass-slaughter at his high school, killing 2 fellow students and wounding 24 of his classmates.
Teresa Miltonberger, the daughter of a correction officer at the jail, was shot in the head and wasn’t expected to live.
I quickly rushed to the local hospital to see if I could be of some assistance. The scene was one of utter chaos. Grieving students, parents and friends were weeping hysterically, holding one another, stunned and saddened by the unimaginable horror that had befallen our community.
Among them was the extended family of Teresa, gathered together in an adjoining room. As I looked at their crest-fallen faces, I felt totally inadequate for the task. “How do I minister to them?” I thought.
It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke to me, saying, “Go in there and pray for them!” Trembling in my spirit, I obeyed. Not knowing what I was going to say, I introduced myself and asked them if I could pray for them. It was then that the Comforter came alongside of me, strengthening me, giving me the words of hope and healing I needed as I cried out to God; asking Him for His help, invoking the name of Jesus Christ, while inviting His peace to invade the situation. I boldly prayed, petitioning God to spare Teresa’s life and to heal the wounded.
Immediately, the atmosphere changed. The Comforter had come! Later, after I prayed for Teresa, God miraculously healed her, even though the doctor said she had .5% chance of surviving through the night.
Experiencing trouble? Cry out! Call upon the Comforter!