More than the Watchmen Wait for Dawn

I’ve always been a morning person.  My body clock cheerfully chirps at 4:30 each morning.  Then up usually prayed, exercised, and showered up in time to get my family up and out the door for the day.

Mind you, I’m useless at night.  My husband (Mr. Night Owl) jokes that like Cinderella’s carriage, I turn into a pumpkin at nine, sometimes eight, sometimes even seven at night.  Which can make me a boring date (sorry, honey!)

Last night though, I surpassed myself and went to bed at six thirty.  PM.  Dinner and then bed.  I felt like a naughty child.

My alarm clock (not my gentle body clock, but the jangling box beside my bed) went off at 3:15 am.  Groggily, I randomly hit every button on it to make it stop, finally pulling the cord out of the wall.  I threw on my sweaters, cause the morning before I was COLD, and started out the door.

I had a close encounter with a skunk out for his morning ramble, but made it to my car safely.  Of course, Tim Hortons was a necessary stop on the way.  At 3:30 in the morning, boy did it ever smell good, as the ovens blasted the fragrance of their confections.  No donuts for me (my inner donut Nazi), but a coffee, double double, did just fine.

As I approached the house, a shadowy figure emerged on the porch.  Not a phantasm, but the previous pray-er.  We exchange pleasantries, and pass the baton.

It’s four am.  I’ve got my coffee, and I’m ready to do business with God.

I wander around the different prayer rooms, reading the new additions on the walls.  That’s the thing I like about taking time slots each day.  You can see the evolution of the prayer room as the walls come alive with people’s prayers and paintings.

Then I settle myself into my corner (aren’t we all territorial?), open my journal, my Bible, and set my heart before the Lord.

Thomas Merton said that “contemplative prayer is not so much a way to find God as a way to rest in Him whom we have found, who loves us, who is near to us, and who comes to draw us to Himself.”

During these three days of twenty four hour prayer, some come to worship, some to intercede and war in the Spirit, some to rest.  Maybe I’m spiritually lazy, maybe it’s been an intense season, but I know that I just need to come to the water and drink.

The front door creaks open.  Seven am already?  Darn!  I can’t believe it.  Ah well, that’s ok.  I’m coming back tomorrow for four am.  I guess I’m going to be a boring date again tonight.

(for more information on 247 Waterdown, check out the facebook group 247waterdown or go to http://www.gohop.ca)

True North

The other day we were praying at GOHOP for local pastors and leaders.  While in prayer, I got a visual impression of a hand and a compass being put in it. I then found myself inteceeding for pastors who felt perhaps that they were lost in the wilderness.  I declared over them that they weren’t lost on the backside of the desert, but that God had them in an orienteering class, and was putting the tools in their hands to move forward.  True North seemed somehow quite significant, and my sense was setting the person of Jesus as our focus was orienting us to True North.

A few days later I was chatting with a friend in her garden, and she began to share with me that God had been speaking to her about True North.  Her husband is a geologist, and according to him (and I did some research to verify), whenever one changes location, one has to recalibrate their compass.  Compasses point to magenetic north, but because magnetic north actually lies 1000 miles below the North Pole, if the compass is not calibrated to account for that difference, it can lead you in the wrong direction.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot of movement in my life these days.  Things are constantly shifting around me, and it would be easy for me to get dis-oriented, or lock onto a target that might only be slightly off, but that would lead me to an entirely different destination.  In my own life, I’m keenly feeling the need to calibrate my inner compass and to lock onto True North, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and my friendship with him.

We are sensing this as well as a ministry, and are excited about the course we are offering this fall – The Excellencies of Christ.  I want to invite you, if you are feeling lost in the wilderness, if you are feeling disoriented, if you are feeling that you are moving towards your goals but wondering if indeed they are the right destination, to join us!

So What Do You Think It Will Look Like?

I’m often asked that question.  I guess because of the time I spend both in the prayer room and in our communities connecting with leaders, people assume that I must have some sense of what is going on from a God’s eye view.  Eeek.  At that point I try to look wise, nod my head and smile my most sagacious and mysterious smile while I frantically try and figure out what to say.

So I decided that it was time to actually reflect on what I think IT is going to look like.  By IT I am referring to the work of God, especially as it pertains to the prayer movement in our region.

And I’ve decided that IT looks like an English Garden.

You’ve seen them, I’m sure.  Wild and chaotic – flowers and grasses exploding every which way – multiple layers of color and texture.  Things seem to have no rhyme or reason – a garden having a riotous bad hair day.  But what seems like it would be cacophonic is actually a symphony to the appreciative eye.

And I think the prayer movement is like that.  One of my mentors (he never let me call him a mentor, but I followed him around for years anyways) once cautioned me against trying to “broker” the prayer movement – against being the “go to girl” for prayer – against trying to replant the garden into tidy rows.  Instead, I should just wander from patch to patch, watering and speaking encouragement (plants like it when you talk to them!).  He even cautioned me against weeding, because some of those weeds are just as pretty as the plants, and who gets to decide what is a weed and what is a plant anyways?  I always thought the designation was somewhat arbitrary.

Right now I’m seeing Hamilton bloom, and it’s exciting!  Multiple prayer conferences, new revival prayer meetings and mobilization, prayer teams going to local skateboard parks, 24/7 prayer events popping up out of the ground – it’s like crocuses coming through the snow every which way, and I can’t wait to see the garden in full array!  I just know the city is being beautified, right now, this very moment.

That’s what I think IT looks like.  You all are going to have to figure out another question to ask me.  :o)