A group of women gather at my church each Tuesday night for prayer. The group is mainly composed of middle-aged moms with teenage kids or retired grandmothers. Not exactly the hip social hangout, but I had heard from many about numerous prayers from the group that had been answered in miraculous ways. The group’s so popular—spiritually speaking—that there are women who don’t even attend our church who come to the group on Tuesday night to pray corporately with them.
I thought I’d check it out. I went sporadically for the first few weeks, but I have to be honest: The reasons I attend faithfully now are purely selfish.
I attend to ensure that I make time for an hour and a half of focused prayer. Sure, I try for the daily 30-minute “devotion” time in the morning, but inevitably I oversleep three out of five days, eliminating that sacred time to a five-minute “Hello God!” on my way out the door.
Tuesday nights are a refuge from the hurricane otherwise known as my life. Often it takes 30 minutes to even focus and slow my swimming brain. Through the constant demands of my time during the week, I know that during the hours of 8-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, I don’t have to do anything but sit in a darkened room and talk to God. Or just sit there if I can’t talk.
When I hear all of the heart-breaking and urgent needs represented at each meeting, I realize I should be ashamed for stressing out about my non-existent problems. This week’s needs: A couple facing divorce, someone who’s been diagnosed with a terminal disease and a single mom who’s just been laid off. They’d do anything to be in my shoes. I don’t want to take that for granted.
I’m finding a small group of older, wiser women to talk with and share with that I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise in a 400 plus congregation.
I realize that one day I’m going to be in desperate need of God’s intervention in my life or in the life of someone I know. Building a rapport with these women now will help them be spiritually and emotionally in tune with me when it’s my turn at bat.
So my motivation may fall on the self-serving side, but the end results benefit more than myself—I’m encouraging other women by showing up faithfully, and I’m helping people reach God for answers to their needs. It’s a win-win situation.
[Cara Baker is the managing editor of RELEVANT magazine. She just bought her first home as a single 25 year old and just got engaged—other reasons she’s wearing out her knees on Tuesday nights.]
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