One of my biggest prayers over the past several months is to KNOW God and to experience his presence. With the prayer experiences at Ignition (https://ignitionblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/a-journey-of-prayer/ ) a whole new way of relating to God was initiated. Since that weekend I have to be honest, there has been so much happening I don’t have the energy or words to type them out. Also in sharing these things I am only praising and honoring God for answering my heart’s prayer and how he is continuing to lead. I am blown away.
There are two major tracks of things that have been happening – I will start with the more general… The Sunday after Ignition I, along with some friends, attended a community church where we heard Pete Greig (author extraordinaire) speak. The new associate pastor of my church, Lidija, and I rode together and on the way home we started talking about the idea of a prayer room and wouldn’t that be great if our church had one? Immediately Lidija thought of the house next door that is owned by the church and currently used occasionally for Sabbath schools. Excitedly we began dreaming and scheming for how this might work. I suggested we could have it open 24-7 with the help of local community volunteers and involve other churches. Lidija was exuberant (that’s an understatement – I thought she was going to jump out of my car) and I was excited though more reserved. J We spent the next couple of hours PRAYING about the idea and prayer ministry in general as well as what God had put on our hearts.
Also part of the conversation was the fact that Lidija had planned a prayer brunch for the next Sunday and had been praying for a “partner in crime”. As we talked and found our similar backgrounds she became more excited and finally asked me if I would help in some way. I offered to lead Lectio Divina and bring some food. I don’t have the capacity to explain all that happened at the prayer brunch but the 12-14 of us gathered there experienced the presence of God. Through joy and tears and God’s grace we caught a glimpse of what prayer could be like for this church. I mentioned the idea of a prayer house and shared my passion to see it happen.
Monday night, (the next day) Lidija was prepared to present the concept of the HOP to the church board. She had already gotten the full support of the senior pastor and the head elder so was optimistic about the rest of the board. They were excited and thrilled with the idea and voted unanimously to give us (‘young adults’) the empowerment to put together a plan and see it happen. In fact they would like a proposal back to them by this coming Sunday when they are meeting again. They are also in a position to bring some financial investment to this project which is an amazing answer to prayer.
On Tuesday (all of this has happened in the last 10 days – did I say that?) we had planned in January to meet with the pastoral staff to talk about young adult ministry. Aristede who also attended Ignition was there as well. As we prayed and talked and shared our hearts for young people it was clear that this opportunity to connect them with a tangible prayer house and experience would do more good than anything else.
Meanwhile at work I had mentioned a couple of brief comments about this house of prayer that is coming together at Hinsdale to the executives at the hospital where I work. Kathy, the CNO, told me that she has always liked the idea of having a “wailing wall” in the hospital for patients and family members. I shared with her about the HOP at Florida Hospital (that she had heard about) and how I thought it would be great to have one here. Well THIS MORNING at a clinical council meeting we were talking about spiritual plans for the hospital. She brought up her idea of a “wailing wall” and the concept of 24-7 prayer and said, “Elisa can share more about it and even has a DVD about it”. After I shared some of what the vision could be and everyone thought it sounded good she said, “Elisa, would you take the lead on setting this up for the week surrounding the National Day of Prayer?”
I’m afraid to ask what tomorrow will bring…