So I went to the prayer meeting. That was my first time visiting Resurrection Life.
Pastor Cody had preached on prayer at Jubilee, but I still wasn’t exactly sure what a prayer meeting at Resurrection Life would look like. In my mind, the phrase “prayer meeting” described something kinda boring. The image in my head was a bunch of old ladies sitting around a table praying for Aunt Mabel’s cousin’s wife’s nephew’s roommate’s bunions. In flowery King James language. For hours.
I knew that their meetings probably weren’t going to be like that 🙂 But still, this was brand new to me.
When I got to the church, I asked Pastor Cody if they’d pray for me before the night was over. He told me they would. He also explained how they prayed for folks and why they did it that way, and made sure that I was comfortable with them laying hands on me and anointing me with oil. I was grateful for the explanation. I also appreciated that no one was trying to push me into a situation that would make me uncomfortable.
The meeting began with recorded worship music playing and a handful of folks in the sanctuary praying and worshiping. Some were very quiet. Others were very expressive. Some sang or prayed out loud. Others prayed in tongues. Some were sitting, others laying on the floor, some kneeling, still others walking around.
It was… interesting. And weird. Not terrible. But different. Definitely out of my comfort zone and “not my style.” And if I had been there as a casual observer – the way I had planned this visit originally – that probably would have been the end of the story. I would have kept myself at “a safe distance” and smiled said I enjoyed it and left exactly the same way I came.
But I really needed something from God that night, and I had an overwhelming sense of His presence, that He was there in a special way. So much of what I would have initially described as “weirdness” began to look more like a kind of freedom that I almost wished I could have as well.
At the end of the meeting, they prayed for me, just as Pastor Cody had described. Afterwards, one of the women from the church was waiting to talk to me. She began to share some things that she felt God was showing her. She started with a couple pretty obvious/generic things – things that were definitely true, but didn’t require any special insight. But then… she talked about my struggle with suicidal thoughts that morning. In specific detail.
I had not shared that part of the story with anyone at that point. I didn’t tell Pastor Cody, I hadn’t even told Bro. Nathan – no one knew.
Needless to say… that kinda got my attention. And it led to some great conversations with Pastor Cody and others at Resurrection Life in the days that followed. I started feeling like I was supposed to move to Baton Rouge – like maybe this was what God had for me next – but that didn’t make sense. I still had some pretty big questions. Resurrection Life was a Pentecostal church, and they believed many of the things that I had rejected years ago. I would have to settle those questions for myself before I could commit to a church like this.
Driving back to Pineville that Friday, about the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to visit Resurrection Life on a Sunday. Looking at the Christian Challenge calendar, the best option was that very weekend – if I didn’t go then, there was a solid month and a half of Sundays that I just didn’t feel comfortable asking off because I had committed to help with different things.
I went to Bro. Nathan’s office that Friday afternoon to ask permission to miss that Sunday. But before I could even ask, he asked me when I was moving to Baton Rouge.
Wasn’t really expecting that question. I wasn’t going to bring it up at all. But I had to answer honestly that I was praying about it. And knowing that Bro. Nathan already felt like this was a God thing gave me even more motivation to pray & get my big questions answered!
(To be continued…)