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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finding Your Light

     During a recent homecoming black light pep rally, glow in the dark ends on majorette batons twirled and twinkled like stars before an audience of excited students. Then "it" happened, one of the glowing ends flew off of the baton and the majorette just kept twirling as everyone watching felt the pang of wanting to run onto the gym floor and fix her baton. Suddenly she stopped her routine, picked up the glowing end off of the floor, and replaced it. Tears came to my eyes as the crowd roared for her as she began twirling with both lights on her baton. She had done what so many of us need to do when we lose our light, take time out and get it back.

Beautiful Adrian photo by Virginia Ellenson
On a recent journey to take time out and get my own light back, I found myself in the New Mexico desert, in the dark, in the rain, totally lost, with no cell phone, trying to find my way back to what is known as Auntie’s house, an adobe house known as the servants quarters for the Mabel Dodge Luhan Retreat House. My flashlight gave me approximately six inches of light and all the adobe houses were starting to look the same. I felt one with Winnie the Pooh, who had followed his own footsteps in a circle. In full awareness that Moses’ people wandered around the desert for forty some odd years, I decided it would be best to look toward the well lit main house and trudge through the mud puddles until I arrived at the kitchen, praying that someone would be there who would take me by the hand like a toddler to my own bedroom. And it came to pass that it happened just that way, Adrian, a member of the kitchen staff had mercy on me and walked with me until we saw the light in the foyer of my small cottage.

Jill at Aunties House photo by Virginia Ellenson
     I am reminded of the power of light in Mat 5:14-15, "You are the world's light; it is impossible to hide a town built on top of a hill. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. They put it on a lampstand, and it gives light for everybody in the house."
~Jill Davis