Saturday, January 30, 2010

We Are Family

It is only fitting that today's blog should concern the privilege I've had of participating in this weekend's 48 hour prayer vigil.  "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." ~ Psalm 55:17.   While one might think I would choose to write something on prayer, I am more interested in sharing what I witnessed of Koinonia over the past 34 hours.  This will post will probably go through a couple revisions, as I am writing this eyes half open.

It delights my heart to see the body of Christ serving in unity and love.  Admittedly the body of Christ, doesn't always function as it should.   At times we are a clanging gong of dysfunction rather than a harmonious symphony following the lead of the master conductor.  As it is with any family, the family of God,  is going to experience some dysfunction, and growing pains, as we work together under the authority of our heavenly Father.  However, when  brothers and sisters, related through the blood of Christ place their focus on the things of God, becoming unified in the things which please Him, we become a glorifying force for God, an unstoppable power in the Kingdom and a blessing to others.  That was the result this past weekend.

Koinonia is a Greek word that means "communion by intimate participation".  The feeling of family was palpable this weekend as people came together for the common goal of prayer centered on God and focused on others.  All those who joined together for the 48 hour prayer vigil experienced this communion as we took the personal requests of friends and strangers to the Lord. There is something about sharing in the deepest needs and hurts and desires of individuals that creates a familial intimacy and trust.

"But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." ~ 1 Corinthians 12:24-26

There are number of reasons why I think the essence of family was so evident this weekend.  We were focused on a common goal, that had little do with ourselves and everything to do with  God and others. It was a challenge bigger than just one person, which required the participation and cooperation of many if we were going to succeed.   Any brokenness or divisiveness gave way as we became closely intertwined in this common goal. The spirit of sharing, generosity and mutual support became tangible.

A few of my favourite moments from the weekend:
I) The fact that people showed up every hour, even the wee small hours of the morning to pray for the needs of others.  Individuals took it upon themselves to call participants to remind them of their prayer time.  If someone was late arriving or could not make it, someone else stepped in to ensure that time slot was filled.  Not to mention those who decided last minute to stop by and join in prayer.

II) Witnessing the body of believers minister to each other, praying with and for one another, sharing tears, laughter and hugs.

III) The unexpected opportunities I was afforded to get to know individuals better, and pray for them.

IV) The variety of ways people prayed, some in silence, others out loud, some with song, some journaling, while others prayed the word.

V) Most generations of our church family were represented from the aged to the young.  I can not adequately express the emotion that filled my heart, as I observed one university student who took time out of her day to come and pray, quietly pour over each request. Admiration, Inspiration and hope I think best defines what I was feeling.

VI) The praise wall, that gave the glory and credit to God!

VII) The generosity extended beyond prayers, and beyond our Christian community when an individual brought a donation of a bag full of heat packs, wool socks and chocolate bars for me to take to the street truck tonight.
VIII) On a personal note, concerning sharing and generosity, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a slice of delicious home made banana bread Saturday morning and incomparable authentic homemade Indian Food brought for supper Saturday night.

This weekend is best summed up by this statement made to me Friday evening: "What an encouragement and privilege it was to be be able to come and pray for others and a humbling experience to walk around the sanctuary praying for all those needs"

The simplest and purest things are what I value the most!  My heart at times was bursting with delight.  I am blessed to be a part of the body of Christ, and uber blessed to be a member of this church family!

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