Saturday, May 12, 2012

Inspiration from All Night Prayer

One Friday every month, something happens in the compound where I’m staying that humbles me and shows me how far I have yet to go in my Christian walk.  The first Friday of every month the ladies at the church that meets here in our compound get together for an all night prayer meeting.  This is something that I would have never tried at home.  I might get a good number to come for the first metting, but slowly they would start coming up with excuses of why they can’t make it – kids, work, exhaustion, etc.  That’s what is so great about this meeting.  It includes women of all ages.  They’ve been doing it all year and I think the size of the group has grown rather than get smaller.  They spend the first few hours cooking and eating a meal together in quality Christian fellowship, sharing their struggles and successes.  Then they start praying around 10pm.  They always have a plan when the night starts out, but they’re not afraid to let the Spirit lead them as well.  They spend time in worship and prayer until the next morning aroun 6am when they head back to their homes to get their families ready for the upcoming Saturday.

There are a lot of take-aways for me as I observe this group.  The first is that one Friday a month is not that big of a commitment.  It’s only 12 Fridays a year.  Doesn’t sound that big right?  So why do we have such a hard time attending things like this consistently?  This is something that I think God has put on my heart for a reason.  This is something I’m going to pursue and try to implement once I return home and get settled into life in the States again.  This has the potential to be a truly powerful endeavor!  Just think if we could get a group of women coming together regularly to pray for their families, their church, their city, their world.  Things would start changing, that’s for sure.  And I know we would all leave the event glad we made the sacrifice because our own lives would each be changed for the better.

Another take-away is the idea of gathering women from all walks of life.  I’ve worked with the youth for quite a number of years and the girls in the group would greatly benefit from getting together with women who are older than them and have experiences and stories to back up the advice they have to share.  The older women would also benefit from being able to look back and realize they’ve accomplished things and experienced things that are useful and they have knowledge that others would benefit from.  It would make them feel needed and important, which we all need to be reminded of.  It could also be an opportunity for all women to bring their problems and have sympathetic but honest ears and mouths to listen and give advice.  No matter the age, we are all struggling with one problem or another.  And we need to come to the realization that it is not a unique problem.  Somebody out there somewhere has already gone through a situation similar to yours and survived it.  As a result, that person can help you out and give advice that comes from past experiences.  I don’t see much downfall in getting women together and sharing life together.  I’m not sure what this looks like practically yet or how to get women to take time away from their busy lives and families, but I think once something gets started and they see how much they walk away with, there will be plenty of returning women at the next event.

Let me know your thoughts about these ideas.  Sorry it was mostly focused on women, but if you men out there have any ideas or inspirations from this post, let me know in the comment section!