Can I preface this conversation with the fact that prayer group was simply an idea my sister brought to me casually in a conversation? She told me about hers and how they conducted the time and what it meant to her. God knew I needed to hear about her it because I was going through a season of Him intensely singing the word revival over me. And heaven knows, revival is not coming from my hands, but only from the Lord himself.
So, I started asking around. “Want to pray?”
And then it got awkward, “Want to get up on Monday morning and pray at 6:30?”
Oh yeah, and then more exceedingly weird, “Want to begin sharing everything that is on our hearts with one another as a sisterhood and hand it all over to God? No fences, no boundaries, no judgment, just heart cries?”
You would think I couldn’t recruit a soul, but the glimmer in women’s eyes when asked was worth fighting for. So I fought. I fought until they said yes. Because at the end of our short days, we all want to be known and fought for and seen and prayer does that. We are seen by each other, but most importantly by a one true King.
Now after two years of my sweet little prayer group, I can only jot down a few thoughts about how it has dynamically shaped my life. It has become one of my favorite gifts. So, here is the short list. The long list can only be done over coffee and small tables and hearts broken open for one another.
What prayer group has done for my soul:
Stirred up a Wild Passion for my King
I believe in prayer more than I have ever believed in prayer. Yes, my PG has a long lists of praises, but we also have a long list of unanswered prayers. We have questioned prayer and how to pray over our brief time together, but one thing has grown around our couches: we each have fallen more in love with our Savior. The passion didn’t just awake in us one morning. It has come with cost. Cost of our time. Cost of our hearts being broken. Costs of our souls being laid bare. But the cost seems short of trash in comparison to what He has given us. He is the ultimate treasure. I know this now.
Belief in Commitment
Maybe we have a lack of a commitment problem in America. Or maybe it is that we are over- committed. I can’t quite tell and I don’t feel like I need to diagnose the US of A, however, maybe we could all use a tad more initiative behind our commitment. When I committed to prayer group, I committed to possibly being hurt, misunderstood, misdiagnosed, look down upon, judged. I also committed to being encouraged, prayed for, championed and loved. With any relationship there are unknowns. Commit anyway. Throw your whole self into something, rather than just part of yourself. I’d rather love wildly than be loved halfway. Wouldn’t you?
I’ve always run with the same crowd. You could pick us out at the parties. The tad excessive, loud, extreme bunch that felt the need to dress up for every occasion. These are my people. Or so I thought. As our prayer group formed, we were all mismatched and patch-worked together onto one little couch. But after time, friendships have developed that I could have never designed if I had the pleasure of watercoloring my life. I have a new picture of the body of Christ now. I love being surrounded by introverts and good listeners and dreamers and passionate pursuers of Christ. I am learning about how God designs his women to literally reach the ends of the earth with our uniqueness. Uniqueness should be celebrated and embraced.
One Adventurous Life
Like I said, just because we pray together doesn’t mean we have this extremely long list of answered prayers. We do, but it is so much more than that. Our prayer group has kicked our tails out into the world to be the greatest mirror-images of our King we could ever imagine. Some of us are starting Bible studies in our workplace. Adventure. Some are forgiving wildly. Adventure. Some are stepping out in faith to foreign countries. Adventure. Some are clinging to trust. Adventure. Some are being called into new relationships for the sake of unity. Adventure.
The thing is, we can never tell you how to be an adventurer except to meet with the Adventurer Himself every single day. The believer’s life was one meant to be dynamic, passionate and abundant every single day.
So, why? Why do I tell you all this two days before Christmas? Because prayer group has been one of my greatest gifts in 2015 and will continue to be one of my dearest treasures in 2016. Maybe you need to consider joining a prayer group in the coming year. Maybe that is the best way to a new you, is to bend your body over to God and to others? Maybe it is just what needs to be under your tree. The only gift with lasting joy.