Monday, September 24, 2007

The Prayer Service Last Night

Wow... what an incredible experience. It was powerful, heartbreaking, comforting, peaceful and loving.

I was amazed at the number of people who came out and really, really touched by some people who I didn't expect to see there. I was so happy to see my friend, Meta, there as well - and we included her in our prayers. Meta is also fighting this beast and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

I am also very thankful to our pastor who did a wonderful job, considering he's never done a prayer service like this before. Our church doesn't normally have prayer services like this, so we were both in unchartered waters a bit.

But, he started off the service with these words to this effect that I thought were very wise:
"This service is not happening out of a spirit of desperation, as if 'well, nothing has worked so far, so I guess we have to pray to God for a miracle'. No....I believe it is the work of God that brings us to a point of expressing our trust in God....We are here tonight to pray to God because he hears and answers prayer. Praying for healing is part of that. Praying for his daily strength, peace and blessing is also part of that. We come here tonight in hope.....

We sang a few of my favourite, traditional hymns. My sister reminded me later that we sang "Great is thy Faithfulness" on the exact same day (Sept 23) at almost the exact same time (7:00 pm) last year - the occassion of the celebration of my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. I'm not sure if believe in people who have passed away "being there" at certain times, but if it happens, I'm positive that means my Mom was there with us in spirit.

I was so overwhelmed by all the prayers that were being said. It was difficult at times too, but I felt great comfort in feeling all that energy. At one point, I even felt called to come up to the pulpit area and kneel on the steps. I don't know why. I'm pretty sure that God doesn't listen to prayer more because you're kneeling than if you're sitting, but I felt the urge to go up and kneel and pray. Tom came with me. I was still fairly emotional from the prayers we had just said, when I felt hands on my shoulders. At first I started crying some more when I felt that emotion of these people (and I didn't know who they were) come through me but then I felt an amazing sense of peace wash over me. Wow - was that powerful. Now, you have to remember that I didn't not grow up in an "hallelujah, Praise the Lord" type of church. This type of service and these feelings were new to me. God really was there with us that night.

Then, after the service was over, I was blessed to receive the hugs, kisses, handshakes and wonderful words of many of my family, friends and fellow church goers. That ended the evening perfectly - receiving love from so many people. This will keep me going for a long while.

My Pastor provided a list of specific prayer requests for those who were there that night. If you pray and would like something to pray for specifically, here's what was provided:
- for healing: physical, we dare to ask for a miracle
- for perserverance: continuing to live fully to the Lord, even in sickness
- for character: for being an example and encouragement to others, to lead others to trust in the Lord
- for hope - for today, tomorrow and forever.


Anonymous said...

You are so right. Last nights service was beautiful and powerful. I was glad we could be a part of it. (although a little out of my comfort zone) Sometimes that's good though I see. We will continue to pray for you daily.
Hugs and prayers,

Annette said...

Coby, I think it was a little out of the comfort zone of a LOT of people there... that's why I appreciate you coming all the more!
Love ya!
- Annette

Anonymous said...

Hi Annette.

It was deeply moving and a profound privilege to be a part of the prayer service, and to express communally our love and support for you and your family in prayer.

The careful thought that went into planning the service was evident throughout (the minister in me can't help noticing these things!)and much appreciated.

I hope you can hold onto the image of the many MANY circles of prayer that surround you, Tom, Kurtis, Ryan and those you love each day.

The words your pastor quoted from Hebrews 6:19 - We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure - have stayed with me, and are my prayer for you this day.


Anonymous said...

Sunday evening was one of the most memorable experiences of being part of a community in prayer.
You leave your life in God's hands. You have the gift of faith.
God bless you and your family and give all of you strength.
Julia and I pray for you all

Laura said...

Obviously I wasn't there in person, but I want you to know that we were keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers during the time of the service. (And daily of course)

It sounds like it was a lovely evening. Hope you are feeling well.

Mauzy said...

Wow. I felt it through your words. Prayers continue for physical healing, perserverance, for character and for hope - for today, tomorrow and forever....

Kris said...

Beautiful Annette, just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

You are always in my prayers. While I wasn't there physically, I was there in spirit. Though, by your words, I felt like I was there! Thank you for the beautiful description.

Stephanie (Katie's mom)

Bennetts said...

You are always in our thought and prayers Annette...

Anonymous said...

Annette, Tom, and boys:
Well, it's Friday again...just wanted to post this while I had a chance. I am so glad you were able to have this prayer service. It is a blessing to gather as the fellowship of believers and pray comunally. We also receive a blessing when doing this; I think God strengthens our faith, and ignites our spirits. Take care, Annette. Lyn Marfisi

Lisa said...

Gods grace is so wonderful and I can feel his presence through your description. I can totally understand how it may have felt uncomfortable at first but am so glad you went through with it and had such a magical, spiritual evening. You are in our daily prayer. HUGS!

Lisa and Lily said...

Annette - How powerful this all must have been - I could feel it in your post! Lily and I continue to pray for you and pray for healing and strength for you and Tom and the boys! Keep the faith and always believe in miracles!


Lisa and Lily

Camille said...

Annette, Please to meet you. I am glad my post about Emma swearing made you laugh. I guess this was its main purpose and you've not only seen that but dared respond to it. You are right, we'll just ignore her newest vocabulary and wait for the newer words (hopefully nice ones) to emerge.
The best of luck to you Annette, and I hope we can make you laugh some more...