By Eileen Gilmer
Prayer is incredible. It can be life-changing and life-affirming. It can also be daunting for someone who thinks that he or she is simply not “good” at praying. We learn how to ride a bike, tie our shoes and write our names. But, rarely does someone teach us to pray. We grow up and still feel like prayer is something the pastor does in church on Sundays.
Last month, I wrote about our new prayer service on Wednesday nights in the Sanctuary. It’s at 6:30 p.m., following our new dinner offering at 6 p.m. Many of those who attend are the parents of young singers in our Children’s Choir—they also meet Wednesday evenings. Other people attending are from the congregation who have come to the dinner. We call it Night CAPS, which stands for confession, assurance, pardon and silence. These are all important elements of prayer.
What is prayer? It’s simply a conversation with God. Our Wednesday evening prayer time leads us through these elements, helping us to feel comfortable going to God. Prayer works best when we fully open our hearts to God; an open heart provides the open door to a deeper relationship with the God of grace. By doing this we become vulnerable, which is counter-intuitive to the way most of us live our Northern Virginia lives. But, in this vulnerability we confess that we all fall short. We become humble. Through this humility we receive the assurance and pardon we all so greatly seek.
And, then there’s the silence. What a rare opportunity to experience quiet. I love this quote from Mother Teresa: “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise. God is the friend of silence.” In the silence is where we most often feel the pull of God on our hearts. But we must be intentional in seeking out the quiet.
I hope you’ll join us for our Night CAPS on Wednesday. Come by and enjoy dinner, then join Pastor Keith and me for prayer.
I’ll see you in church!