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I Take it He was Listening

March 11, 2008

On Saturday night, during our team’s set, I was not running screens and simply sat in the room, participating in the intercession set. When it came time for small group prayer, I did something that I haven’t done in months. I actually got up and prayed in a small group.

To be completely honest, the experience made me want to continue avoiding small group prayer for another 8 months or so. One of the people in my small group just kept praying… and praying… and praying… and praying. And Richard wasn’t playing a particularly small-group-friendly song. I can’t tell you how many times I started to turn to walk away (from the other two girls in our group of 3) before I would stop myself and continue to wait it out. (Yep… I’m pretty weak.)

A couple hours later, however, I decided that I might want to keep doing that small group prayer thing.

At the beginning of that gruelingly long small group prayer, I prayed for Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Richard began attending Saint Andrew’s when the Nazarene church he was attending stopped having their early morning services on Sunday. Once he has been going for a while, he kept talking about the experience, and I eventually decided to try it out.

I ended up crying through about half of the first service that I went to. The liturgy was just so rich… the scripture readings, the truths we sang, the things we declared… the creed… the Eucharist. All of it was amazing and so alive to me. And I have been going each Sunday that I am able, ever since that day. I intend to go through at least a full year of the church calendar. (And things are getting really exciting about now, as Holy Week begins on Sunday. Lent is nearly over!)

Back to Saturday’s 4am set (technically Sunday morning).

In our small group, I prayed that the Lord would breathe life into the scripture readings and sacraments… every bit of the liturgy at Saint Andrew’s that day. That, as the word was being read and the songs were being sung, He would move hearts. I especially focused on the scripture readings… that He really would really break in as His word was being spoken.

Well, about two hours later, I found myself standing between the pews of that beautiful church, facing towards the center of the church where they were about to begin the gospel reading.

The reading was John 11, the story of Lazarus and his sisters. “I am the resurrection and the life.” About a dozen or so verses into the reading, tears began spilling down my cheeks. My heart was absolutely tender before the Lord and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I started crying several other times throughout the remainder of the service, as well.

On the drive home, I was thinking about the service we had just left and realized that my experience at church that morning was exactly what I had asked the Lord to do. I cannot speak for the hearts of the rest of the congregation. But the Lord was speaking to me, to the deepest places within me, throughout the entire service. I’ll take that as an answer to my simple little prayer.

And that’s more than enough to make me keep asking.

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