When We Pray, It Boils
Stand still in that which shows and discovers, and then does strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit to it, and the other will be hushed and gone. And then contentment comes.
– from George Fox’s Epistle X
At our Fall Gathering this October, the Friends of Jesus Fellowship had a pretty amazing experience of prayer. The quality of it was different from anything I had ever experienced before. It was as if we were sitting together in a frying pan, and the spiritual temperature was steadily rising. Simmering. Boiling.
The only way I knew how to describe it afterwards was to say, It felt like the lid was about to come off. The room was literally shaking with the prayers of those present, our bodies and voices trembling under the power of the Spirit.
As a Quaker, this intensity of feeling makes me suspicious. It’s hard to know sometimes whether our emotions are being stirred up for human reasons, or divine ones. Yet, from everything I witnessed, I believe that our time of fervent prayer bore the marks of the Holy Spirit. There was real healing taking place as hidden hurts and heartbreaks came to light.
It has taken me a while to begin processing what I saw and felt this weekend. It was an awesome thing to watch the Spirit of God reach down into our depths and dredge up mercy out of the darkness. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But also beautiful. Cleansing and healing.
I am so grateful for Christ’s presence in our midst this weekend. I am blessed to be part of this community where we approach God together, and receive a clear response. It’s a pure gift, and I’m thankful.
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Friends United Meeting
From Lon Fendall: Friends Theological College (FTC) approved a minute last Friday asking the Africa-wide accrediting agency, ACTEA, to allow it to move into candidacy, so it’s a relief to be able to start doing and not just talking. Emmanuel Chemengich, the new ACTEA director was the speaker for Saturday’s FTC commencement and it was great to get to know him better. I got to visit with him while we joined Robert in the principal’s house. Pray that the meeting we are having tomorrow or Thursday about the first steps in the accreditation process will go well and the faculty and staff will be able to look beyond the short-term challenges to see the benefits of the work ahead of us.
From Dale Graves: Last week we tried football (soccer) practice with our new ball. It lasted 45 minutes before blowing out and the kids were not mistreating it. Somehow, through Ms Darcel, a local man heard of our plight, and we now have two quality soccer balls to practice and play with. I don’t know the whole story yet, but he gave them to the school free of charge. Yes, they are red and white and have Coca-Cola printed all over them, but that’s ok. I’m giving thanks to God and perhaps you can too. I’ve said it before and I’m quite sure I’ll say it again and again, please pray that our students will come to an understanding of a God who loves them. Sometimes they are not very lovable, and it is up to staff to represent our faith in ways the kids will understand and come to know. Please pray for Ms Darcel, Ms Candi, and Mr Dale.
From Robert Wafula: We give praise to God for the safe travel of Eden Grace and myself from the U.S. to Kaimosi, Kenya. We thank God and give gratitude to the FTC students, faculty, and staff, and the FUM Africa Ministries Office for the warm and jubilant reception they gave us. We praise God for the colorful graduation ceremony at FTC. A total number of 34 graduating students received their Bachelor of theology degrees, diplomas and certificates in theology, pastoral ministry and counseling. I thank God for the privilege accorded to me to confer these credentials for the first time as principal. Pray for returning students who are expected back to campus from a one week recess this Monday, October 27, 2014. Pray for Eden who is flying back to the U.S., October 23 and 24, and for Lon Fendall who flies back October 25 and 26.