Monday, August 30, 2010

Prayer Vigil

Prayer Vigil picture courtesy of Julie Commander
Did you ever wonder what it is like to participate in a twenty-four hour prayer vigil? I did. We had one at Mosaic last weekend. At first I signed on the line next to 1:00 a.m. and when I realized what I had done, I quickly scratched out my name, leaving my lack of midnight piety evident to everyone who came after me, and signed up for 10:00 a.m. I always considered myself on wifi to God. He was omnipotent and knew it all. Why repeat myself or put on a prayer front, suddenly speaking in a language that I didn't use every day? I had no idea what I was going to do for an hour. But the phrase, 'God doesn't call the prepared, he prepares the called,' beckoned me to show up at the vigil venue and trust the process.

This is a picture of the prayer altar prepared by Jon and Julie Commander of our church. Jon had left a notebook giving instructions on how to begin the vigil. He had written poignantly, "Prayer through Open Doors..." "Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you."... "As you speak to God remember that the Holy Spirit will help you say just the right thing..." As I turned the page I found that he had written a prayer for the congregation, and I had heard someone say that reading a prayer counts as saying it. Whew! The pump was primed, so I turned the page and found a notice about next weekend's Back to Church Sunday. The next page, a list of the children in our church to pray for and our influence on their spiritual growth. The next eight pages were filled with prayers from the congregation pouring their hearts out to God. I read each prayer, re-lifting it up to God. And finally, it was my turn to bring my prayers to the altar, and I picked up the magic markers and began to bare my heart:

    Dear God,
     Who among us with any heart doesn't feel like Sham Wow for other people's oil spills?
You inhabit the praises of your people and now I express my gratitude for your most recent answer to my angst filled prayer. I told you how the voices of men had made me afraid to pray, you know like "God make me humble" and then someone tells a story about how your house will burn down. And I asked you why I would want to give such a wonderful God all my crappy fear and terror. And you whispered into my heart that if I gave you the ENERGY that went into fear, terror and worry, that you would sanctify that ENERGY and make it into something that blessed the Kingdom.
             Dear Jesus~
                Help us
                              in your light,
                      with your 
                 And grow 
                            in your wisdom
                And help us hear 
                            Your Voice
                                   above all other voices
                                            Including our own...
And by the time I added a personal family prayer, and prayer for the church...I looked up and an hour and seven minutes had gone by. I had done it, gotten lost in prayer for more than an hour. Next time, I hope the children will come and draw prayer pictures to God.
                                          It was an honor to write this blog...~Jill Davis


  1. I felt the same way when we were challenged to spend a day (at least 8 hours) with God in January this year. I thought, "What am I going to talk to God about all day?!" But I just went about my day, rested, wrote, listened to music, and it was such a revelatory day for me. It's amazing how God'll just open the door when we're available. Wish I could have been at the vigil!

  2. It is always amazing to see how God works through ANY prayer effort, including a vigil. For me, it was especially encouraging to see/hear my husband's prayers ~ as I said to him, it was refreshing to get a peek into his heart for our Lord. It is also always a blessing to see prayers "piggy-backing" on each other, to know that my (written) prayers are being attended by others who come after me. Thanks, Jill, for seeing the process with new eyes and describing it so beautifully!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience here. I just participated in the Million Minutes for Peace noon-time prayer for peace yesterday and believe powerful shifts in perception occur when we open ourselves up to the divine.

    Jill ... I'm so happy to find you sharing regularly at Mosaic Dialogue. It's be wonderful catching up today.
    Hugs and blessings,