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.