It was one year ago.
Twenty women in the community from different churches sat on picnic tables under a candle-lit shelter at a baseball field. It was on a cool, drizzly September evening, but it didn’t stop hands from joining, heads from bowing, words silent, whispered and called out loud to our God. They were prayers that brought glory and praise to the Creator of all things. Prayers that cried out to our Redeemer for help. Prayers that asked our Protector for protection. Prayers to the Prince of Peace for unity in our community and around the world.
John 17 was prayed.
And it wasn’t just those 20 women praying that night – it was thousands all over the world. That night IF:Pray took place.
IF:Gathering is a ministry whose purpose is to gather, equip, and unleash women in the next generation to live out their purpose through Christ. Some of you at SMC attended the two day IF:Gathering at Elon University this past February and experienced an holy time with the presence of the Holy Spirit and communion with other women in Alamance county.
A few other ways to equip women is to be solely in the Word through IF:Equip, host IF:Tables (more to come!) and once a year invite women from around the world in one night to be in prayer together crying out to our God.
He’ll be listening again as we gather to pray at SMC on September 14, 2015 from 7pm-9pm. Women in our community are invited to join with us this holy evening. Again, we’ll be praying John 17, for God’s people, the world, and for unity and love as the Body of Christ. We’ll be on our knees in confession and we’ll be worshiping.
Not only will we pray with gratitude to our Maker, but there will be hard prayers to pray, too. God doesn’t want us to sweep reality under the rug and ignore what’s happening around us. We need to be desperately asking God’s Spirit to move in the hearts of His people and for us to have the courage and boldness to hold up the Light of the world in our daily lives.
This time of the year is busy for most, but we need everyone to make the time to beg our Savior for delivery and unity, especially because of the conditions of the world these days.
We’d love for you to come. Begging you to.
You can register at www.exporesmc.com and you’re encouraged to invite friends, co-workers, neighbors and family to come with you!
At last year’s IF:Pray, authors and bloggers, Jennie Allen, Ann Voskamp, Rebekah Lyons and Bianca Oltoff, to name a few, wrote prayers for the occasion. Jen Hatmaker was also one who prayed that night, and I want to pray this prayer again. Will you join me in prayer?
“God, our world is crumbling and warring, murdering and destroying each other. There is injustice everywhere and sometimes we wonder if You see us down here struggling and aching for hope.
We need You!
We live in this broken down, terrified world and sometimes hate and fear threaten to ruin us all. We pray for peace.
Please, God. Deliver peace.
We beg for peace between nations and neighbors, races and relationships. Give us eyes of love to look upon each other as brothers and sister. Raise us up not just as peacekeepers but peacemakers. Show us how to make peace beginning in our own fearful hearts. Teach us not to fear ‘different,’ but to learn and listen instead.
Give us hands to reach out with hope and community. Give us feet to travel to new neighborhoods, new people, new places, new spaces where we may not understand but we are willing to learn. Give us courage God, courage to love our neighbors as ourselves. Courage to lay down our weapons and pick up the mantle of peace. Courage to admit our errors and listen with humility.
We pray for peace in this troubled world. The peace only You can give.
We believe You for it, God.”
School has begun. Dance and soccer practices are on the calendar. You’re starting to think of the Fall Festivals and pinning holiday, decorating ideas you see on Pintrest late at night. It’s a new season. It’s a new start.
As the calender fills up, are you making time to be in the Word? Oh yes, it’s essential- that one-on-one time with our Abba. Yes, it’s just as important to get involved in a Bible study with others as it is to have coffee in the morning. How beautiful times are when you’re in communion with other women reading God’s truth, applying it to your lives and praying together. Oh, the feeling of the Bible laying open in your lap, holding onto your favorite coffee mug that will warm your insides while God’s promises and your conversations warm your soul.
September 14 and September 21 is Ministry Expo at SMC during all services (except the 5pm on the 21st). There’s going to be so many amazing Bible studies to check out and sign up for. We’re hoping there will be one that’s just right for you (and your calendar).
As the Word says, “When we come together something beautiful will happen as we are encouraged by each other’s faith.” (Romans 1:12)
Let’s come together…