Vital Connection

It’s confession time.

I’ve got a bad habit.

I wake up in the morning.  It’s early.  Real early.  I don’t really want to get out of bed yet.  Not ready to face my day.

Reflex kicks in and reach to my bedside table and grab it.

My IPad.  Or my phone.  Whatever is handier.

First I scroll through Facebook.  Then Instagram.  Feedly for the blogs I’m following.  Gmail.  And then the news.  It’s good to be current with news, right?  It feels like a vital connection.

Before I know it, and hour has passed.  I’m replete with information and electronic white noise.

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At night I do it all over again, tucked in with my tech.

And I wonder why I’m not hearing the Lord’s voice the way I used to.

I love what Pastor Abraham has to say about fasting.  “It leaves more room for the Holy Spirit,” he chuckles.

I need to make room in my brain space.  My soul space.

This weekend, I unplug.  Keep my phone off.  Less than 15 minutes of internet each day.  I spend most of the weekend mucking in my garden.  By Sunday night I am pleasantly sore and tired, and my insides feel expansive and clear.

Encouraged, I exile technology from my bedroom.

This morning I wake up early.  Real early.

I don’t want to get out of bed yet, so I just lay there and remind myself of the Lord’s presence.  An old hymn pops into my heart and I hum it quietly to myself.  I think of Psalm 42:8.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I wonder how many of His songs I have missed, swallowed by technological gluttony.  But today I am able to hear it.

Vital connection.

You are Invited

I’m in Sherbrooke, Quebec, with the team of the Quebec House of Prayer.  We are sharing stories of their life together.  “Tell me your juiciest, most QHOPPY moment.”

Lots of tales, many warm tears.  They’re a tender hearted bunch.

What caches my attention is that most of the stories begin with the phrase, “so I received an invitation…”  As I look around the table of dedicated prayer missionaries, I realize that they are all there because they have been invited.  Brian and Tanya, the Directors, reached out to them (usually via Facebook messenger), and asked “would you come join us?”

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Fourteen and half years ago, Kirk and I felt a call to prayer missions.  So we did the only thing we knew to to – we applied to be staff at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.  We auditioned, went down for an interview, and were accepted.  We began to put our affairs in order.  I trained people to replace me at the church, and offloaded my business clients.  But as the time to depart drew near, we started to feel ill at ease.  Something didn’t feel right.  I remember one night, Kirk was pacing back and forth in our bedroom, “If there is a peace of Christ that passes understanding, this isn’t it!”  So discerning that we had made a mistake, we pushed pause, and retreated to the family cottage to pout and to pray.

And while we were there we received an invitation.  A group of pastors who had already been praying together weekly for six years contacted us.  They wanted to see a House of Prayer established in Southern Ontario, and could we come and help?

The rest, as they say, is history.

We received an invitation.

Encouraged by the success of Brian and Tanya’s invitations, I’ve been spending this week asking people to join us.  “Come and play the hand drums in our worship set!  Bring your guitar!  Hey, would you consider joining our staff?”

I’m on a roll, so I thought I would do it on the blog as well.

May I invite you to join us?  For a prayer meeting?  Or an afternoon in the prayer room?  To help out at the Prayer Truck this summer?  Or maybe God is calling you to urban and prayer missions for short term or even vocationally?

You are very welcome to come and visit with us and explore with us this lifestyle given to loving Jesus through prayer, mission and justice.  Drop me a line at jill@gohop.ca if you want to chat about it!

Welcome carpet

You’ve been invited.