Today I’m running Rebekah’s latest WFPC Lenten devotional. If you’d like to receive her Lenten meditations every day, contact me through http://www.derekmaul.com and shoot me your email address. Peace and blessings – DEREK
“Where two or more are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Devotions from Rev Rebekah Maul, WFPC
We were a covenant group, with a total of 10 plus myself. I had been elected by my then 10-year-old son to be the “leader,” because this covenant group wanted to do “real” Bible study. Andrew gathered the other 5th graders, and we met in our home every Monday night for an hour. Our focus of Bible study was “Heroes of the Old Testament”. Easy enough, I thought.
Well, in my Bible this past week, I found a 3×5 card with the names of the group on one side, and the following covenant we had made together on the other side. This is what their covenant said:
- We will meet at Mrs. Maul’s house every week for an hour
- We will bring our Bibles every week, and we will take notes in the margins of what we learn.
- We will pray ourselves in and we will pray ourselves out.
- If we don’t know how to pray, we will learn.
- We will be strictly confidential.
- We will pray for each other when we aren’t together.
- We will take turns bringing refreshments.
- We will have a party at the end of our covenant.
… and they each signed it. There was David, Andrew, Brittany, Elizabeth, Jessie, Tara, Aaron, Nathan, Cathy and Mark.
Part of each week was spent in sharing prayer concerns. “How can we pray for each other this week?” I’d ask. At first these prayers were classic 5th grader prayers:
- My dog is sick;
- I hate sharing a room with my brother;
- I don’t like my teacher;
- Why does my mother think I have to keep my room clean all the time
Then, one week, one of the girls looked at me and said, “Mrs. Maul, you haven’t offered a prayer request. We forgot to ask you. How can we pray for you this week?”
I was stunned. I didn’t think they had been aware that I had not added to our group prayer. It was their prayer… right??? I simply prayed for them. But, I was also kind of proud that they felt that I was more than just their “leader”.
Trying to keep it on a 5th grade level, I said, “Well, I have to give the opening prayer at a preacher meeting this week. There are some serious things to talk about at the meeting, and I want the prayer to be one that really helps Jesus be the main focus of the meeting. Pray that I will pray a good prayer for the meeting.”
As was our practice, one of the group read the verse, “Jesus said, ‘Where one or more are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them.’ So Jesus is here with us. He has heard our prayers together, and all of us say…. Amen.”
Twenty-four hours later, I had returned home from the long meeting, eaten dinner with the family and was cleaning up when the phone rang. It was Elizabeth.
- “Well, Mrs. Maul, how did it go?”
- “How did it go? How did what go?”
- “Your preacher prayer. You told us you needed some help, so I was praying for you that you would have a really good prayer.”
Shamefully, I had forgotten all about my rather glibly given prayer request of the group. So, I quickly drew my attention back to the meeting, and to the prayer I gave. It had been an amazingly affective prayer. Even as I prayed it, I thought to myself… “Where is this prayer coming from?” It was far better than anything I could have written. It was a chilly-bump moment, where I knew the Holy Spirit was guiding my words… and it had set a positive spirit over the whole meeting.
The truth was evident. That prayer had nothing to do with my ability to say a good prayer. It had everything to do with my being used by the Holy Spirit at the prodding of a 5th grader’s prayer for her group leader. That moment bound me to that group. We were a community bound by Christ.
Prayer: Lord, our hearts gather with you as we share our concerns and join our hearts in prayer knowing that you are in the midst of us. Today, unite us with the awareness of the community of faith of which we are a part. Bind us together in your love. In Christ’s name. Amen.