Today was our National Day of Prayer Community-Wide service. It took place at The Pentecostals of the Twin Cities church building, a beautiful facility. I had no part in planning this program – it was put together by the Community Prayer Partners, an organization of prayer that I admire but have not participated in like I should. I appreciate Keith Roberts’ work in this group. They obviously respect him – and he respects them.
This morning we met at 6:30 am – so I cannot attest to being fully present – but I was there! A team of singers led us in some praise and worship – starting off with the God of this City song. I hope that song continues to grow in popularity, it is an important message. Various ministers from different denominations led us in prayer. There were various topics of prayer including giving of thanks, praying for the families in our parish, our country, governmental leaders local and beyond, the pastors of our city, and for the church. It was a simple program and very powerful.
There were a couple of interactive prayer times. Although I play an extrovert in public, I am in reality an introvert. So when I am in a group of strangers and someone starts talking about ‘interactive‘ … ‘audience participation‘ … I start wondering how to make a graceful exit. Typical of me, I was sitting by myself. So the first ‘grab the hand of the person next to you‘ didn’t apply to me.
The next one I couldn’t escape. They asked all the pastors in the room to stand and go to the aisles. Oh boy…this would be a good time for you to return, Lord! But I was not so blessed. So I stepped out. People were instructed to find a pastor nearby, place hands on him and pray. I turned around and was surprised to note that I was sitting in front of Bob and Shirley Danklefsen. They, and others, placed their hands on my shoulders and as the leader lead, they prayed for me. I was very touched (uncomfortable, but touched!). I’m glad I didn’t run out.
I come from a fairly stoic church experience. Even expressions of joy such as clapping and hand raising have been so overly analyzed that they are like the joke that has to be explained – it’s not funny anymore. I think things are better … churches of Christ are less formal, more casual, warmer, more open minded, less isolationalist. (At least the ones I hang out with!)
So, I was glad to spend some time with my brothers this morning. We are, after all, interested in the same things. We believe the same God answers prayer. We know the Scriptures tell us to agree with one another in prayer. We must always look beyond our walls. There’s a big world out there. And there’s a big God. He is the God of this city. Greater things are yet to come.
Was there a National Day of Prayer service in your city?