Leaps of faith. Exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. That is how I felt about announcing a meditative prayer session 28 days before having it. Kinda crazy. But I needed to do it. I needed to see how the whispers and the leading were going to manifest. I needed to see what God would do.
I’ve been communicating that I am hearing God call me to this; but planning this meditation was specific to hearing the word “effort”. So for 28 days I pressed in… with prayer, worship, claiming scripture, battling warfare, via blog, via email, encouraging people to attend. Following the call has meant over 40 hours per week, many 10-12 hour days. My mom and my niece have had little of me. But I experienced His glory on Friday, as did others, and this makes it all worth the sacrifice.
Over 30 signed up, almost 30 attended last Friday! People who attended are affiliated with 10 different churches as their home church. Most came from my church; but the diversity of denominational affiliations was encouraging to me. Also encouraging was that 23% had invited someone who met them there. Post session, 94% are saying they would highly recommend this session to others! Exuberantly! There was a wide range of ages from 25 to over 60. A small handful who came does not attend any church right now. This is the handiwork of God. But it’s not all He did.
My most dramatic encounter was when the Holy Spirit interrupted me during one of the sessions. It happened when I was anointing people with oil and prayer. Over one person, He stopped me. He spoke a corrective word which jumbled my thoughts suddenly. It shocked me and in that moment, I held it to myself. After the session ended, this person wanted prayer. I still held on to the word not knowing how to handle it yet. In true form, the LORD was tender, pouring out lots of comforting counsel and tender prayer. She was clinging to me. She was emotional. I wanted to break away; but God stilled me. He wanted me to let her cling and wanted me to just be with her. As I let silence settle me, He slowed His whispers and I just repeated the loving words He said. Then more silence, then a word of “turn”. I looked at her and asked if there was an area in her life that was a struggle, which she needed to turn. She answered; and I focused prayer on that. We broke and I went to pray with another person. She came around to me again; and, I asked her what church she attended. She didn’t have a church; but instead described a belief system she was brought up in. I had heard of the religion and said, “Aren’t they the ones who don’t believe in the Deity of Christ?” She said, “Yes”. Suddenly I knew what the stronger corrective word of “rebellion” was about and I told her. She was shocked. She explained the power the generational belief had in her family line. What was most fascinating is that God the Father had been talking to her over a long span of time, at a recent point telling her point blank, “You are trying to get in through another way; you must come through my Son.” She resisted God; and she said as a consequence she felt Him leave. He has been silent; she has been missing Him. Now I was amazed. This was amazing to hear! She knew exactly what the rebellion was about and she was completely aware of how patient and merciful God had been to her over time and why He pulled away. I asked her if she was ready to surrender. She said yes. We prayed about salvation; we prayed for deliverance. Her eyes were clear now, I could see light. This is amazing grace.
God worked through my misstep on the anointing, my lack of knowledge of the root issue during our first time of prayer, her need for loving guidance and strong correction. He handled it beautifully. And because over much time, He has prepared me to minister like this, I was allowed to be part of the beauty. I needed Friday to happen. I need to see His power trump my effort and weakness. He did.
Most wept during prayer. Most wrote pages of notes during the reflection questions. ALL stayed in the extended time of worship at the end to spend more time with God. You struggle to pray for 5 minutes? They were in prayer for 45-50 minutes, alone with God. I needed to see their hunger; I needed to see them being fed tenderly by the Good Shepherd. I am doing what He has called me to do.
I need help. I want to schedule another one; but I need people who will support me being a local missionary. This is not a money making business plan. It’s a call. I am called to “go”. I desperately want people to catch the vision, to see it’s His idea, not mine. He keeps telling me not to worry and that He is able, so I am keeping my face set like flint. Maybe now some will be stirred to step in and pledge support. I don’t know for sure. I will just continue following. The LORD is my Shepherd; I lack nothing.
In closing here is more reaction, some highlights from comments, texts, emails, and survey responses:
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!