Being of Service? At a Prayer Meeting! (Feature Friday!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, November 21, 2014

be still and know Ps 46-1

Being of Service? At a Prayer Meeting! (Feature Friday!)

I have not attended an old-fashioned prayer meeting for some time. Years, in fact.

I corrected that oversight this evening. I could not be there for the whole prayer meeting, but I came for what I could. Almost the last hour and a half of the meeting. Earnest, honest, heartfelt. Praise and prayer lifted to God.

Where was this prayer meeting held, you wonder? At a smaller church, North Shore Assemblies of God in Skokie, a little ways from my home. But not too far, since I was able to get over there fairly quickly. The church was warm, the congregation friendly.

Like I said, it’s been a while since I was plunged into a pool of prayer like that. As I walked into the sanctuary, I felt the warmth. After the solo was over, the worship leader led in a time of prayer, and then the pastor had people who wished prayer for healing to come forward. The pews emptied—of pray-ers! More than half the congregation were up front to pray alongside of, and with, those who wanted prayer. More singing, and another prayer leader came up. Gave her testimony about her oldest child, and led the congregation in prayer. Small group prayer, this time. We prayed about children and families. Deep time of prayer!

I was amazed at the coincidence. The prayer leader: she drew people’s attention to a book I’ve been using since the beginning of the month. “The Power of a Praying Parent.” Or—was it a God-incidence? I have been praying a chapter of this book each day in the month of November. Just to have this group of friends in Christ pray using the same book, the same words as I do? Wonderful.

(I have been having a fruitful time praying the various chapters from this book each day in November, for my four children, and my friend’s five children. But, that’s another post. Another time.)

The evening of prayer and praise closed with Pastor Fred Sindorf coming to the front and praying. For children and grandchildren (still growing and grown). Most important, praying that God touch each person in attendance tonight.

May God bless Pastor Fred and his flock, including my friends Shirlene, Trisha and Morgan. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers!

@chaplaineliza

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Helping? Playing for a Hymn Sing!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, August 21, 2014

not in control

Helping? Playing for a Hymn Sing!

Nothing like a good, old-fashioned hymn sing! That’s where I was, this afternoon. I played for a group of seniors at a retirement center where I used to preach, once a month. (That was before I had this position as pastor at the church where I am, now.) I am so grateful that I am able to help out, doing what I could. Giving enjoyment, providing music.

It warmed my heart to see so many of the seniors. I remember them from when I used to come and preach, lead worship, and sometimes play the piano, too. I really enjoyed playing for them, too—both then and now. And, there are additional seniors at the facility, too. So many, so sweet. And several came up to me and thanked me afterwards. One even said, “This is my most favorite thing to do, having a hymn sing. Thank you so much for playing for us.” That warmed my heart, and brought tears to my eyes, too.

Of course, I enjoyed seeing my friend, Chaplain Sarah. She and I had a short while to talk afterwards, as well.

I know I’ve spoken about this recently, but I’ll say it again. I am trying to follow the suggestions made in Micah 6:8 this month, in August. “Live justly, love mercy, walk humbly with our God.” I think being of service to these dear seniors certainly qualifies. I try to be humble and teachable, when I come to this retirement facility. I know that residents can often teach me things I just do not expect. And if I didn’t have my eyes open? Receptive? I would miss these lessons. Usually soft-key, gentle lessons. But other times? The lessons can be more serious, more sobering, too.

Next week, I am going to another (larger) senior facility, to lead a midweek service. At this facility, too, I can learn so much from the dear seniors in residence. I try to be humble, try to listen, and try to minister with my heart and hands open. Yes, the words of Micah 6:8 are worthwhile for me to consider—not just today, not just in the month of August. But, every month of the year. I need to continue to actively look for ways to be of service. Ways to love mercy, and ways to walk humbly with the one who loved me so much, God gave me things to do. Business to take care of.

God, I wonder what You’ll have for me to do, tomorrow?

@chaplaineliza

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