I saw again yesterday morning why we at Good Shepherd have a Prayer Room in our church.
At the conclusion of the 10:00 a.m. worship service — I didn’t preach but instead got to enjoy a fabulous-first-sermon-ever by Chris Thayer, our Director of Discipleship — I found myself sitting beside a woman whom I had never met. I was preparing to go up front to do the closing announcements when I noticed that she was obviously moved by what she had experienced.
“Are you OK?” I asked.
“Do you all have a Prayer Room?” she answered.
“As a matter of fact, we do,” I was able to say. Reason #1 we have a Prayer Room: so that when people ask if we do, we can say yes.
“I’m also the pastor here . . . let me do this announcement and then I show you the room,” I continued.
“Well, that’s not a coincidence,” came her reply.
So I did the closing, shook some hands, and then found my new friend. And I could tell that she expected that I would not only show her the prayer room, but the one to pray there with her.
After all, that’s what pastors do, isn’t it? How many times do we hear folks say, “well, preacher, you’ve got that direct line to God.”
Except that’s not what happened yesterday. Instead, we had a regularly scheduled Prayer Room volunteer already in place. He’s not a preacher; he actually works for a local bank. A regular person.
And a far better Prayer Room Minister than I could ever be.
So I escorted the woman to the Prayer Room, introduced her to our volunteer, and then let them have their time in prayer, knowing that authentic ministry was both given and received. Reason #2 we have a Prayer Room: so that the people of the church — not just the paid clergy — can have a space to use their spiritual gifts.
That’s what a living relationship with Jesus Christ is all about.