Tuesday, March 23, 2010

...in their midst.

I've been thinking a lot lately about prayer. I've been thinking about all the things it means to me and the logistics - the how's, what's, why's, when's, where's of it. And, the thing I've really been pondering is the power of praying and, specifically, the power of praying together.

I belong to a lay Order of women called The Daughters of the King. As a member of this Order, we take solemn vows to live our lives by a Rule of Life which includes prayer and service. I've been a member of this order for almost three years, now.  It has been a time of learning, a time of growth, a time of commitment and, on occasion, a time of accountability. The beautiful part for me has been the many times of rest and comfort that I have felt through the love and prayers of these women.

There are twelve members of my congregation that belong to this Order - women of different ages, different backgrounds, different callings and purposes in life. And, the one thing we share is a love for God and a sister-like love for one another.

We often communicate with each other through email. It is not unlikely that I will be sitting at the computer minding my own business and a message will pop up from one of these women - often something silly to let each other know we are thinking about them. The emails are always addressed to the whole bunch of us - and, then the responses fly back and forth - making us all laugh and realize that, for just a moment in time, we are bound together in the same thought - thoughts of each other.

My favorite times are when a message pops up with a subject line that says, "Time to circle the wagons" - and, I know this is serious business. A prayer missile has been delivered and it is time to pay attention. And, the responses are always full of love, of nurturing, of support and, sometimes, of tears.

Prayer is an incredible responsibility. I personally do not believe there is a better way to love a person than to pray for them. To love that person to Jesus knowing and believing that He understands and will take care.

How awesome to know the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf when we don't know the words to express our feelings. How awesome to know that God knows our hearts and yearns to love us in this way.

The picture above is of a figurine I have that means a lot to me. It is sculpted by Cindy Burden, a very talented artist. The name of her sculptures is Woman of the Way and each one is based on her particular experience and also scripture. This particular one is named - "In their midst" taken from the promise in Matthew 18:20, "...whenever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in their midst". These women stand on a table right inside my front door. They remind me that the best thing about prayer is the powerful love that I feel just from holding hands with each other, the powerful love that I feel knowing I am being touched by God.

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