Thursday, April 28, 2011

My unedited thoughts on my night.

Tonight I sat in a room designated for prayer with five of the outgoing HNGR interns. They have another 10 days or so on Wheaton's campus. Then they go home and then they will get on planes alone and go to other continents. They'll meet people and love people and feel lonely and miss Wheaton and home so much it hurts. They'll see things they couldn't imagine and won't know how to explain to people who haven't. They'll see sides of God they wouldn't have gotten to see otherwise. They'll laugh and grow and get proficient in another language and shower way less than they would have ever been okay with here. They will be surprised by how normal they feel at some points and terrified by the changes they sense in themselves at others.

I had nothing to do for the hour we were together but talk to God, which was the assignment for the evening. Mostly lately I've been talking to Him about myself. They've been really good conversations. But tonight when I started doing that, He was pretty clear there were other things for me to talk to Him about. Namely, those five people.

How do you pray for people? Really, I mean it- you, a person, not "you" like the world. How do YOU pray for people? What does that even mean? How do you know if you're doing it right? I felt like I was, tonight. I really mean "felt". I kept thinking that I wasn't, because- how do you know if you're doing it right?? But what I felt, was like I wasn't doing much of anything besides sitting with Jesus as we both gazed at each of them in turn (hope they didn't notice), and I, well, tried to think His thoughts about them. And it felt as right as any way of praying does.

I spent ten minutes on each, because we had about an hour. One of them I prayed absolutely not a word for. Oh, I prayed for him, earnestly and with joy, but don't ask me what. I have no idea. God knows. I prayed for one and just smiled at who God made him to be. That was mostly my prayer, being glad he is who he is, and asking that he becomes even more of it. I prayed for one and had situations to pray over. I prayed for what I imagined I saw in the lines of her face as she journaled a few seats away. I prayed for one and I had a LOT of words. I don't know where they came from but I asked God for a lot of very specific things about her next six months. And one I was just starting to pray for when she came over and quietly asked if she could sit with me. I got to hold her. It is easier to pray for someone when you are holding them.

That was my night.

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Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.