This is unique in and of itself simply because most pastors of different denominations are not always willing to set aside theological differences to work together toward a common goal. Heck, pastors of the same denomination can have that problem!
But this is a special group of men who have made a conscious decision to work together to make a difference in the city of Austin, Texas.
So anyway, this group of pastors met together on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
This year, they decided to do something a little different and they invited the wives to join them Tuesday night for supper and a time of prayer.
I'll be honest. My first reaction was not - "Woohoo! Pastors' retreat! Can't wait to go to that!!"
But it should have been.
Because last night was just what I needed.
Oh, I enjoyed supper. Anytime I don't have to cook is a reason to get happy. And the conversation was great. And getting to know the wives was a treat.
But the prayer time.... wow.
Now, I'll be honest again. I'm not one who loves to pray out loud in front of people. Shocking, I know. I'm a little on the shy side when it comes to that and I find it stressful trying to come up with something "good" to pray.
I want you to know that I drove to that retreat feeling better than I felt Monday, but still with a weight on my shoulders. Well, after spending about an hour in prayer with these pastors and their sweet wives, my soul was totally refreshed and my shoulders were no longer sagging. I actually felt like I had lost weight! (It was totally a false feeling as I weighed myself this morning and the number had not changed one tiny bit - a little bit of a letdown, I'm not gonna lie.)
We prayed together as a group and then we broke into couples to do a little more intimate prayer.
Ryan and I found ourselves in a group with the Wilkersons and the Clarks, two sweet couples who just happen to be African-American.
And I have to tell you - those ladies and gentlemen don't just pray. They PRAY.
I mean, I would totally not have been surprised if the Lord Himself had just shown up in person in that room with us and said, "Bishop Wilkerson and Pastor Clark - I couldn't stand to just listen anymore. I had to come join your prayer circle right here in the flesh. So here I am!"
There was such a powerful connection. And I learned that I want these men and their wives praying for me every single day.
In fact, Bishop Wilkerson said something that I loved. He said, "Lord, we are going to pray for Lily every day. We are going to keep praying. In fact, we are going to annoy you with our prayers for a blessing for that baby girl."
I loved it. I wished I had recorded it.
And while I know that the Lord never really gets annoyed with our continued prayers, I just might annoy the Wilkersons and the Clarks to pray a blessing for me every day. I have them on speed dial.
And despite all that "good praying", I found myself not the least bit intimidated to pray all by myself in front of them. Shocking, yet again.
It was a good night, to say the least. In fact, after it was over, I asked if we could do this again next week. They thought I was joking.
So why am I sharing this with you? Because I want to remind you (and myself!) of a couple things:
- Sometimes, the thing we least want to do is the very thing we most need to do.
- While support from online friends is wonderful, there is nothing like good old-fashioned real-life supportive people that you can get your hands on. Talk to someone.
- Talk to God. Even if you're mad at Him. Even if you haven't talked to Him in years. Even if you don't understand what He's doing. Even if you don't like one bit of what's going on in your life. Tell Him. Don't sugarcoat it, either. Get it out there so you can move forward.
- If you talk to God, tell me about it. If you don't want to leave a comment, email me. You know how to pray for me - let me pray for you. Let me help support you and you can help support me - is it a deal?
Have a good Wednesday.