The Apostle Paul, during a raging storm, stood up to tell the captain and crew not to give in to fear or despair. We find the story in Acts 27, and it is a story that has had profound meaning for our prayer team during this last year. “Keep up your courage,” Paul told them. “Not one of you will be lost … [but] unless you stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” Believing him, they cut loose the lifeboat and threw provisions overboard. It took incredible fortitude to stay on board.
There has been an urgent need for people to stay “in the boat” during this pandemic. It was not easy for the people on that ship with Paul. How to stay on board, when the ship has smashed up against a sandbar and is being pounded to pieces? It has not been easy for our church, either. Many of those asking for prayer are in crisis, feeling isolated and afraid. Prayer has been one way to help us all stay connected to God and to each other, during a raging storm. We have not been allowed to meet, lives and livelihoods are being dashed against the rocks, and there is danger all around us that we cannot even see. Prayer ministry has helped many of us, myself included, to not jump ship.
At the right moment, Paul told the men to jump overboard and swim, clinging to debris, broken planks, and splintered parts of their floundering vessel. In some way, by holding on to those pieces of detritus, they were still "on board"! They were still connected to the ship. Their lives were saved by staying together - holding on to whatever they could reach, and swimming in the same direction for what lay ahead. We, too, have all been holding on to whatever keeps us afloat. Prayer has been an integral part of that.
Keep swimming, everyone. There is land ahead. We will soon gather around a fire, shell-shocked and shivering, and celebrate God’s kindness together.
-Nikki White, on behalf of the NLCC Prayer Lead Team (Jonathan Rempel, Janet Littlejohn, Chuck Kaethler, Scott White)
- “Your prayer gives me hope as I read it, and I pray it out loud again and again.”
- “God has been nurturing and growing me in all the areas you prayed about. Thank you!”
- “Thanks so much for praying - my sister has made a full recovery!”
- “Thank you for praying, I have found a place to live!”
- “Your prayers really help to lift the load that we are carrying these days.”
- “Thank you, I felt like I was floating from the prayers of so many, I had such peace.”