Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Writing our own Prayer

It was Tuesday evening and we had assembled once again for our weekly prayer and study group. We were planning on continuing our "Growing up Catholic" study and discussion. However, Ron (our group facilitator) had a different idea. He suggested that we, as a group write out a prayer together, using the Scriptures as our guide. His reasoning? He wants us to develop a framework by which we can learn to pray as a group. Is this a beautiful thing, or what?
So for the 90 minutes that followed we poured through the Scriptures, looking at some of the Psalms, as well as Jesus' teaching on prayer in Matthew 6, and then to the account of Jesus Himself praying, as recorded in John 17. I have to admit, when Ron first mentioned his idea this evening, I didn't know where he was going with it, but where the Spirit led us, as a group, was truly amazing; something that wasn't planned. One man had an idea that he was sure came from God, and he presented it. And God blessed our socks off! Man, I'm still feeling it!

Six months ago we barely knew each other, now we are praying together, in one accord (No we didn't all drive here together in a Honda...okay...bad joke). What is developing is truly a work of the Holy Spirit. One man had a vision from God and the rest of us joined him in that vision. The end result of our evening together? We wrote out a prayer together and then prayed it together.

When my life comes to an end, and I'm standing before Jesus, what will be the marks of my success? At what will Jesus look and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant...?" It won't be the ministry I built or the money I raised or the amount of good deeds I did. It will be the people I have managed, by the will and the grace of God, to reach with His good news. It will be the people who connected with God as a result of my obedience and faithfulness to Him to "Go therefore and make disciples..."

What gave my heart joy this evening is not merely the fact that a handful of people took the time to come to Bible study, but that they are being discipled and nurtured by the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Something powerful and miraculous happens when God's people learn to live and pray together as a family, and that is what we are becoming, a family wrought and knitted together by the Holy Spirit; a bond that cannot be broken.

That's Powerful!