We made it. Pastor Clay, Kevin Wilhoit, and I touched down in Minneapolis this afternoon. We’ve settled into our hotel, registered for this year’s pastor’s conference, and anxiously await the opening session at 7 PM local time.
We braved the cold and walked over to the convention center around 3 PM to register. As always the DG staff greeted us warmly and helped us check in. As I got my bag of conference materials, I eagerly asked, “Is the bookstore open?” Some addictions die hard. The sweet lady behind the table replied, “Yes, and the prayer room too.”
I felt an arrow pierce my heart. I’ve made my way up here to Canada masquerading as the US in Minneapolis every winter since 2003 save one, 2005 when I contracted head and neck cancer. Never once did I start my three days with the prayer room. Let me say it again. Never once did I start my three days with the prayer room.
Now I ask you. How can a pastor co-teach (the incredibly gifted Pastor Clay has agreed to alternate sessions with me) a 9:30 equpping hour on prayer, go to a conference so crucial to his entire approach to ministry as a shepherd and not start with the all-important means of grace that is prayer? For the life of me, I knoweth not.
Nonetheless I determined to repent. I suggested to my two compadres that we mosey on over to the prayer room BEFORE we went to the book store and get one of the DG volunteers to pray for us. We met Larry, a DG staff person for ten years now, who committed us to God over the next three days. Thanks be to God for this ministry and its understanding of the strategic role of prayer in making anything, anything happen of spiritual merit in the kingdom of God. Would you join him in praying for the three of us that God would mightily move in our lives as a result of attending this conference?
The whole deal made me think of various Scriptures that pertain to the folly, sometimes the fatal folly, of failing to ask God in prayer for help in the midst of our choices and directions. For example, 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 says this about King Saul, who turned to a medium for guidance rather than to the living God in prayer:
13 So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14 He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
His failure to ask of God concerning his need for guidance proved to be a fatal omission.
May the same not be said of us. Where do you need guidance? Where do you need the Lord to direct you as to His will? If we fail to ask Him through prayer for His wisdom,we run the risk of a potentially fatal omission.
Don’t go there.
All I can say is, I’m sure that for the next seven years it’ll be the first place you visit and probably encourage others there to do the same. 🙂
Oh my, I do like the way you think, young lady. I will try to live up to that prophetic and optimistic expectation. Thanks for your comment!
Isn’t it great to keep getting nudged in the right direction by the gentle hand of God :).
Indeed it does. Sometimes me thinks I require more of a sledgehammer approach, but God is gracious. Thanks, dear, for your comment and encouragement! Miss you!
Thank you for encouraging and challenging us from afar. I am grateful for His gentle hand; I would be really bruised if He always used a hammer!
I am afraid I would not only be bruised but broken into pieces for as many blows as are required. Thanks for your comment, Kath!