So in my not so spiritual spirituality class we were supposed to take a 4 hour retreat. Now the 12 hour retreat we took as a class was less like a retreat and more like 12 hr lecture so I wasn’t sure what to expect today. There were really n0 requirements of this retreat except that we were supposed to be with God in silence, solitude and contemplation which are basically the theme words for the class: Inward, outward and upward (and if never hear these mantras again I would consider it a blessing from God).
So anyway we basically have carte blanche. Meaning we are free to do whatever we choose.
So on my 4 hr retreat I laid down and basically started to speak to him about my own life and my own troubles. I started with talking about people in my life but I quickly changed to talking about me. Then I was silent because this was a silent retreat. As an ADHD person I can tell you that silent retreats annoy me because I love music and I love being able to commune with God in that way but oh well gotta stick to the assignment.
After some silence I feel asleep and in that sleep the most notable thing happened. I was in a heavy sleep [in a safe space] and I was dreaming. I was having this weird dream where I was passing by people who had pop up prayer requests.
It was like I was in a pop-up-video from the 90s and I kept passing people looking for people that I knew. Then I just stopped moving for no particular reason and I started to pray for my friend Vicky and her family as they make the next hard decision in their lives. And as I started to pray the pop-up-video of people and their prayers started to turn back and pretty soon I was in front of the first person with their card. This was my friend Vicky and her family only it didn’t look like Vicky. I looked at the card and sure enough it was her prayer request.
Suddenly this music came on and it started to play the chorus of a song called “Lead me to the Cross”
Lead me to the cross
Where your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to you
Lead me, lead me to the cross
What struck me was I was paying too much attention to the actual people and less attention to their prayers or their needs.
Sometimes we are all limited by our situations and our own needs but we are never limited in prayer. We can always go to God and ask him to be with our friends and to do for them what we cannot do.
Community, communing with people means more than just sitting and having tea with them. It means really praying for their needs. It means really sitting with them in the gap and holding them up. It means really paying attention to who they are in their time of need and asking God to do for them what you cannot do.
So to end this blog I am going to sit in the gap. I am going to ask God to do what I cannot do.
Lord, I ask that you comfort all my friends that need comforting tonight. I ask that you hold them and remind them of your presence.
Lord, I ask that you be with all my friends that are disappointed in their situation. Whether that be in their job or their relationship or their relationship status. I ask that you be with them and give them answers to why their situation is what it is. I ask that you hold them in their loneliness.
Lord, I ask that you be with all my single friends. I ask that you remind them that they are all loved and that the work that they do before their marriage is important. Remind them that their identity is an important part of becoming ready for relationship.
I ask that you be with all my married friends, Lord, that you protect them against the enemy, that you do not allow adultery or lust into their relationship but that you fill them with your love and with each other’s love.
I ask that you be with all of my friends tonight Lord that are searching for employment. Whether that employment be sooner or later that you would fill them with your path and your way and not allow them to become discouraged. I ask that you remind them of your love and of your dreams for them. I ask that you help them to quickly find employment and that it be the right employment for them and their family if they have one.
Lord, I ask that you be with my friends that feel far away from their friends. I ask you to help them to join activities and churches that will help them to meet other people. I ask that you give them the get-up-and-go that they need.
I ask that you be with all of my friends that are low on funds right now Lord. I ask that you give them a miracle that only you can give.
Lord, I ask you to do the supernatural in each one of my friends and family’s lives. I ask that you bring healing and comfort and that you stand in the gap with us.
Lord I also ask that you help me to be a better friend. That you help me to remember my friends in prayer. I ask that you remind me in all the ways that you do that their hearts and minds are important to me too.
Lord be with all of us this week and help us to sit with you, to find ways to be with you. Help us to find time to sit and commune with you on a personal level in more concrete ways each and every day.
Lord I also ask that you be with all of my friends who are in their studies and getting closer and closer to their finals. I ask that you help to keep them sane and that you do so with your heart of gold. I ask that you provide rest and relaxation for them and remind them that a frazzled mind is less and less coherent as the days march on.
Lord be with everyone I know this week and everyone I don’t know this week and help them to feel loved by you each and every day.
It is in your precious and holy name that I pray, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.