Last weekend, a group of women from our church traveled with Pastor Sam to Mountain T.O.P. to fellowship and learn more about prayer. Prayer is described in the Bible as our way to talk & connect with God.
Our first activity was to draw a timeline that traced our spiritual journey. We were asked to highlight moments where we felt close to the Lord, as well as when we felt separated from God & how these experiences shaped our lives. While this was not a simple task, each woman carefully crafted her own spiritual walk with the Lord. I was truly enlightened and humbled to hear each woman share how the Lord had come into her life.
Next, we spent some time exploring how we can connect with God. What is prayer? Is there a special way to pray? Is it always getting down on our knees with folded hands and asking for what we want? Sam provided us with an array of different prayer activities to try for half an hour. Options included: coloring, meditating on a piece of artwork, music, reading a book about prayer, writing special cards to friends & family, and finally a prayer which anoints certain parts of our bodies (such as our hands, mouth, feet) to do the work of the Lord & praise him. I personally chose to sit down for a half hour and color a page which had a psalm written on it. I figured this would most likely make me zone out, but once I started my task of coloring and had read the verse a few times, the words to the Lord came flooding out so quickly I could barely catch my breath. Each situation that had been burdening my mind was immediately prayed for and given over to the Lord. Who knew that 5 colored pencils and a small piece of paper could help me connect so deeply with the Lord? When we returned to our group to share I was humbled once again at the responses from each woman. Each of us was amazed that we had connected so deeply without using the “conventional” model of prayer.
Our final challenge sounds very simple, but in our busy lives is the most difficult. How can we find the time to connect daily with the Lord? Sam reminded us that carving out time each day is important to our prayer life & keeps us connected to God. How can we give ourselves daily to the Lord? He is here to take on our burdens & guide us through our trials, struggles, and times of joy! Each of us returned home with a renewed hope that the Lord listens to us through our prayers.
You may ask, what was my favorite part of the weekend? My favorite part was sitting back & watching how each woman serves the Lord in a different manner. I loved watching how one person cooked as her service to everyone, several washed dishes, others sat and talked with someone who was having a tough time. What a reminder that the Lord has given each of us a special gift to share with each other. What a beautiful prayer to the Lord in itself…using our spiritual gifts to serve each other!
As Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians, “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”