Our worship nights have morphed into something we now call Selah. One Sunday night per month we have a night of worship & prayer & some fairly unstructured God encounter time. Sometimes these are walking through a spiritual practice (lectio divina, imaginative prayer, journaling etc). Other times they seem to focus more on prayer. We try to keep the priority on seeking the FACE of God more than seeking His HAND, while not excluding the latter. Honestly, we are feeling are way forward on Selah’s – most of the time I’m not sure what I’m doing or what’s going to happen or if I’m wasting people’s time.
This last weekend, I was kind of complaining to God about that feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen. I had a leading before I got there generally giving some direction, but there was a lot of space in the evening. I felt like God said to me, “Ed, just let me speak to my people. You don’t have to manage me & them”.
Here’s a couple of cool emails I receive this week about that night, shared with permission:
I just wanted to mention how powerful God’s presence was last night. It was awesome. Amazing things are coming together at church, you can just feel it and I am grateful to experience it.
By the way….your son really touched my son’s heart at the desert trip. Vinny finally accepted Christ.
I had a vision Sunday night. When you asked us to close our eyes and ask God to show us what chains He wanted to break for us, He showed me the most beautiful scene of birds flying upward in a lush, steep-walled canyon– large, elegant white birds with long, thin, grey-blue wings. They circled, and flew up with ease and joy, and then soared on an updraft effortlessly, with beauty all around.
I was one of those birds, filled with joy.
How this has contrasted my life of late. When you spoke of chains, I feared I was in the “right” place–and was tempted to leave; I do not relish losing self-control of my emotions in public.
God had different plans.
My chains have become many and heavy; they are both physical and now of the spirit, and have entangled themselves into a difficult mess that I cannot sort.
But God can.
I went for prayer, and, as I feared, broke down. God put me on my knees. But, at the same time, He put the oil of
healing on my head, and the gentle laying on of hands on my body, and the Spirit that comes with the gathering of two or three in His Name to cover my tears.
God spoke through His servants who prayed for me. They were kind, but were listening to God, asking Him for what they should say. He gave me trust to break in front of them, for Him.
I pray to stay broken before Him until He heals me, and breaks the chains that bind me from freedom. As you advise, I will pray every day. I have been bound for over twelve years now; distress has followed distress, and has affected my spirit. But I will hold to the Promise of Isaiah 40:31, and hope in the LORD; for He has given me the vision of strength, and soaring, and freedom.
Thank you for your sensitive leading Sunday night, and I must find again and thank those who led me in prayer.
God is Good!
CONCLUSION: We are God’s people. Good things always seem to happen when I give Him access to His people & get out of the way.