Christ Church began 2014 in an interesting way. Instead of lofty resolutions or half-hearted commitments, we began by studying the nature of God and the character of the Holy Spirit. This has been the foundation of the series “To Love As Jesus Loves”, but also our Healing study. Healing was a great challenge for Christ Church because it caused us all to examine our lives and relationships with the Lord and hopefully has laid the groundwork for some exciting things to come this year in our church and community.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the study was the addition of the prayer ministry that served in each worship service. Their goal was to simply listen to the needs of church members and pray for God’s healing hand. They prayed for healing in broken relationships, physical ailments and for lost and broken people. This was a great beginning to our year and an important challenge to our church because it caused us to surrender more of ourselves to God while trusting and welcoming in others in our community.
There are several benefits and blessings to praying with one another. It has the power to change the lives of those who receive prayer as well as those who offer it to others. When it becomes integrated into a culture, it can change entire communities. God provides purpose and clarity in times of prayer, and it is often spontaneous.
Terre Klipsch, one of the members of the new prayer ministry, shared one of her own examples of God’s spontaneous, healing power in prayer. Terre was healed through someone praying for her over the phone, from an illness with shingles. She began experiencing her pain disappearing in the middle of the phone call and twenty minutes later, her illness was gone. It was a great reminder that God does have the ability to heal, even in the midst of our own personal doubt.
Terre was changed for the better that day and was reminded that God shows us mercy and grace, so that we will go and be there for others going through their own pain and trauma. As we learned in the Healing study, God does not always answer our prayers they way that we hope, but we still must have the courage and faith to at least ask. We go to him because he loves us and trust that he is there for us. My prayer for Christ Church this year is that we all draw closer to God, that we would turn to him in all situations, be open to the Holy Spirit regardless of the outcomes of our prayers, and that we would all grow in our relationships with the Lord together, as one body, and as a united community.
Let us always turn to God for healing and turn to one another for prayer.