Alliee DeArmond, In the Spirit: People of prayer
By Alliee DeArmond
Special to the Sentinel
I was pleased to see the Roman Catholic bishops’ call to prayer for rain. Immediately I considered doing my bit. Conversely, it could be argued that I had already done my bit, saving untold gallons of water through months of driving around a dirty car.
Any minute now, I expect someone to pop up and announce that we are having a drought because of our sins and wickedness — which is probably true — or to hear someone else blaming corporate greed, environmental negligence and selfish consumerism — which is saying the same thing in a different language. So why do the two glower at each other across the dusty divide?
There are 105 books in the prayer section of my bookstore, an equitable number of books on healing prayer directly below and books on the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, such as words of wisdom and knowledge, and praying in tongues, on the lower shelf’s end. This is not counting books on prayer that might be part of a series such as Herbert Lockyer’s “All the Prayers in the Bible,” or devotionals, or stories of answered prayer, or exhortations, theology, personal examples, and/or versions and visions of corporate and personal prayer that show up in other books throughout the store.
Anyone who thinks that prayer is all about jerking God’s chain to get him to do what we want is woefully ignorant.
Those who believe that science has now conquered all knowledge, that there is nothing left to mystery, nothing greater than human reason and experimentation, are guilty of hubris (see sins and wickedness). They are also ignorant of numerous scientific frontiers where material realities mix with nonmaterial realities to create interesting results. For example in his book, “The Hidden Messages in Water,” Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto has shown how water forms more beautiful crystals after it has been thanked. Go figure.
So, let us pray. Let us pray for wisdom, for knowledge, for forgiveness. Let us use our various and distinct combinations of interest and expertise to do our bit for the common good, wherever and however we can. Let us pray for the grace to honor those gifts among us that are outside our understanding. Let us pray for rain.
Prayer Encounter Rooms
Hilltop Ministries began over seven years ago as a small prayer group that met in Ken and Shaunna Cornell’s home. Over the years the group grew to include people from several different churches. Through worship, teaching and prayer, the house fellowship united diverse ministries and became focused on empowering and equipping people for ministry. The group regularly takes significant time to pray for each other in the course of their evening meetings.
Working with the Men’s Ministry at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos, Ken founded a Men’s Encounter Room that is available at that church 5:30-7 p.m. on Mondays. The men received such freedom from the deep, personal prayer that their wives, sisters and friends wanted in on the action.
Last week Shaunna opened a Women’s Encounter Room with six prayer teams. It will be available from 7-8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Friday of the month at Aptos Christian Fellowship, 7200 Freedom Blvd. Women can come at any point during the time slot and a team will pray for each individual’s needs. Often people receive 20 to 30 minutes of focused attention on issues ranging through physical, emotional and relational healing.
The prayer teams are experienced and trained by various schools and ministries. The teams want to meet and honor each person where they are, being sensitive to individual needs. The prayer is founded in Jesus and instead of being tied to a particular prayer model, the teams are committed to following the leading of the Holy Spirit for each situation. They have prayed for non-Christians, and are not pushing a particular doctrine, ministry or teaching.
People from as far away as Salinas have come to the Encounter Room for prayer. Shaunna hopes that the Women’s Encounter Room ministry will be reproduced in other communities. For more information, contact Hilltop Ministries at 831-475-3292 or see weRadvancingfreedom.com.
Tonight I will turn off the water while I brush my teeth. I will offer thanks that drinkable water can still flow into my sink, that I don’t have to walk over three miles a day to get water, that I am not one of the millions of people in the world who don’t have clean drinking water available. Tomorrow I might donate something to The Water Project or some other organization that is committed to providing clean water in developing countries. And on the way, I will pray for rain.
ENDQUOTE: “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” — Bill Nye
The In the Spirit column runs once a month. Contact Alliee DeArmond through The Word Shop in Aptos at firstname.lastname@example.org.