Have you ever felt a burden to pray and you just *had* to keep praying until it was lifted? That's what it felt like today praying with my prayer partner Esther. I had such peace. I could feel something change around us. It was almost like God was smiling rays of light down on us.
Oak Hill has had debt problems since it built the building we're in. I don't understand finance stuff well, but the deal wasn't good - that's all I know - high interest, and the like. They need 3 million to pay it all off.
Lots of our members are in a bad way right now too. Many have lost their jobs or are still looking for work. Some have horrible medical issues that are racking up their own debt in hospital bills.
And still, God has provided for us. Ever since I've been there, since Hurricane Katrina (I guess about seven years), the Lord has done miracles to keep our church going. Just a few months ago, a guy who had a flight to ATL scheduled last year felt prompted to give $2000 dollars to our church. It exactly covered the mortgage that we were short on and needed that day.
Esther and I feel called to pray that the money will all be paid for and brought in. I just saw it happen with the science building at Oxford - that was 12 million. This is just 3 million. It's well within God's realm of possibility But not everyone feels called to pray that. I like what one of our members, Mr. Turley said. Whether we stay in this building or leave it, we need a heart change.
Oak Hill is a great place - the people there really want to serve God. They really want to see Him work. But like most churches and most Christians, we're laboring under a cloud of doubt. Will God hear? Does He really still move? Does He answer prayer? How can I know? Will He ever move in my life? Doubt. It's the great suffocator of spiritual joy and power in a believer's life. And I think it's one of the most pervasive problems in the church as a whole, maybe. I don't know. God knows. I know what that's like. I labored under it somewhat unconsciously my whole life until last year. I'm not completely free of it, but God has really changed me in a big way.
We had a prayer meeting Tu night 7-8 p.m. Different people prayed for different things or felt differently about what God was going to do or we should pray for. I think now that ... when something is laid on one's heart to pray for it, perhaps it doesn't necessarily mean that it will happen but it DOES mean that you should pray about it - that one is called to pray about it - and as one does, God will change YOU if your desire is wrong or needs tweaking. We're called to pray with the faith God has given each of us. Perhaps it is really different for each person. Pray with the faith God has given you. Confidence in God is more like confidence in who He is, what He can do, knowing that He IS moving, that He hears and DOES care... it's not really confidence that you'll get exactly what you pray for - though it certainly CAN take that form.
I'm taking that kind of from Romans 12:3, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." i.e. There's a measure of faith that is different for each person.
So, Esther and I were praying primarily that the Lord would get the glory and remove the smothering doubt. We also prayed for other things. Personal things for each other.
I don't know what God is going to do about our church. But, I know He's going to do *something,* and whether we stay or go, He'll get the glory for it. Sometimes Esther sees things as she's praying. We both saw the congregation praising the Lord with true excitement. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do.