Don't Jump Ship and Quit. Pray by Kelly Greer for The Consilium

Have you noticed that the older we become, the more our experiences inform our faith and beliefs?  As older women, many of us have deep wells of hard-earned wisdom from which we draw.  Maybe, like me, you have noticed how the changing political tide has unearthed some polarizing values within the community of believers.  If anything, you may have experienced difficulty navigating rough waters with some precious relationships.  When we find ourselves adrift in troubled waters of differing values and experiences, drowning in this sea of worldly wisdom, scrambling for our life jackets, ready to jump ship, maybe there is a better way.

Charles Finney, the father of American revivalism in the 19th century put it this way, “Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together.  Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.”  God’s word is the lifesaver not only for us individually but for all of us on this ship of life and God is our captain. He is the Anchor of Hope who unites us as we seek Him in prayer.  Want to stay in the boat? Weather the storm? Like the Apostles 2,000 years ago, we can look to Jesus.

I can attest to the truth of Charles Finney’s words as a member of a Moms In Prayer Group that has met weekly over the past fourteen years. We call ourselves “the Magnificent Seven.”  We are all very different, coming from various backgrounds. Our ages differ by 20 years. We attend different churches. Despite these differences, we have discovered we have much in common as we pray together to the one true God.  Pouring out our hearts before the Lord for one another and our families in prayer, we have been knit together in one heart. Cemented together. God’s word and hope buoy us up.

Cemented together. God’s word and hope buoy us up.

Our time praying together has spilled over to time playing together. A few summers ago we launched our first float trip as a group. It all began as we stood sweating profusely on the bank of Big Creek inflating our rafts.  That is when our temperatures first began to rise to irritable heights. We gathered our coolers, paired up in rafts and launched into the stream only to discover that it was not the same depth it was a few weeks earlier when my husband and I had enjoyed a thrilling float. It was now a rocky bottom with a trickling stream barely an inch deep in some spots. Water shoes secured on the feet of those who took the advice of the learned, we started out by chasing the flip-flops of those who didn’t as they swiftly floated and bobbled downstream. The differences in our ages, physical abilities, and experience became crystal clear in these troubled waters. Deep holes refreshed us along the way. Our paddles were a blessing when we couldn’t touch the bottom. Those same paddles became cumbersome and heavy when we had to carry our rafts and everything in them through waters too shallow to float. We struggled over the uneven rocky bottom on foot with cries of “ouch” “ouch” “ouch.”  There were a few squirmy water snakes here or there to keep things exciting. Aged trees uprooted and toppled across the stream in recent storms blocked our way. We found ourselves slipping and sliding, rafts in tow, up the muddy banks to navigate around the fallen trees. The smallest woman in our group and the only one with military experience declared, “I feel like we are in Vietnam.”  Oh, my! It wasn’t pretty. Trying our relationships, that trip could have been the trip that sunk our ship for good. But we kept meeting together to pray.

Corrie Ten Boom says, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”  God cares about the things we care about.  He wants to hear from us.  He wants to lighten our load, calm the waves, shore the ship, and build a crew that is united in purpose. Praying together is a sure way to calmer seas.

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Kelly lives in St. Louis County, MO with her husband. She shares her story where it matters for juvenile justice, parenting prodigals, to encourage cancer survivors, brain injury survivors, and their families. Prayer is her love language. She is happiest when she is with her family or on her belly in snorkel gear floating wherever the river runs with the fish racing below her, sun rays streaming through the ripples onto the rocky bottom and the sounds of the world distantly dim. In addition to blogging here at the Consilium from time to time, she leads In ONE Accord, a Facebook live prayer event at The Consilium Prayer Room where we come together to pray scripturally as we take our eyes off of our circumstances and onto the mighty gracious attributes of God. You can find her learning how to take care at her blog Curare.

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