I am always surprised by the moments in the life of leading a congregation that end up filling my soul. That conversation with a neighbor that I didn’t expect. Or maybe the conversation with the bartender at my local watering hole. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to serve a friend or a stranger. Often it has been seeing God provide for our family.
Tonight I had one of those moments.
Here’s the thing, I’m not a big corporate pray-er. I have never really enjoyed praying in groups. At conferences or gatherings where they make you split up into small groups and pray for each other, I slip out the back. It always feels fake and lame.
I’m a pastor, I shouldn’t feel like that. Before that I was a missionary, I shouldn’t have felt like that then either. There’s a spirituality standard for us professional Christians, right? If there is, I fail miserably at this point.
Tonight we started the new year with the missional community that meets in our home by praying for one another. I have to admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. It seemed like the right thing to do, I was convinced that this was what God was encouraging us to do. If I’m honest, I was kind of dreading it.
As the stories and prayer requests began to flow and the prayers were offered up for one another, I sat there enthralled. I was amazed at the answer to prayer over the year. My heart and mind were fully engaged in hearing the stories of my friends.
I took to Facebook after and posted:
I meant it. It was good for my soul.
Something changed in me tonight.
I think I’ll probably still slip out the back at conferences during “forced prayer” time. But, I can’t wait for the next time I get to hear the stories of my friends and pray for one another.
We prayed, and it was beautiful.