So, last night I jumped on a plane from Phoenix so that I could be home for a Church Awakening pastor’s prayer gathering today… our first north of Seattle.
The prayer gathering was for pastors from Snohomish and Whatcom counties. The plan is four hours of prayer for pastors, for churches, for our communities and then for each other. Typically we close the prayer gathering serving each other communion.
Last week the Church Awakening office told me only 18 pastors were registered for the event. I wondered if it was worth the effort of interrupting my study leave, but decided to come anyhow.
I’m so glad I did!
The event was hosted by pastors Keith Kippen and Terry Bonner, at Jake’s House Church of Arlington, WA. When I arrived there this morning I sensed God’s presence in the room already. The staff had prepared tables decorated in harvest themes, and had refreshments waiting for our guests. The room looked amazing!
By the time the prayer gathering started we had over 50 pastors and prayer leaders present. I sat at a table with the local Roman Catholic priest. Across the way, at another table, was a First Nation pastor from the Tulalip Tribe. The seasons of prayer were led by different pastors who opened with a devotional thought that set the tone for that hour of prayer.
We had invited the Roman Catholic priest to share the devotional leading into an hour of prayer for the church in our region and state. He took his text from Ephesians 4 and shared powerfully that we are all one church, with one Lord, one baptism and one faith. I was in tears when he was done.
Then I was told that many of these pastors from Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Assemblies of God and yes, Roman Catholic Churches, were the ones who banded together to respond to the Oso landslide tragedy… and that many of them have been meeting weekly for the last 19 months.
That explained it all.
No wonder the prayers were filled with such passion and humility. No wonder the unity in the room was palpable. No wonder God’s blessings flowed so freely in the fellowship and intercession. Tragedy has a way of erasing barriers and Psalm 133 says that where there is that kind of unity, God commands the blessing.
I didn’t want to leave when it was over. I wanted to stay and fellowship more with my brothers and sisters of God’s Kingdom.
But I had a flight to catch to return to my study leave… although the lessons I learned in the last four hours will last me a lifetime.
Jesus is building His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.