By Deborah Kendrick
Every month we travel two hours to lead a prayer gathering in Northern Virginia. When we began meeting ten years ago, I encouraged everyone to take a bold step and leave their prayer lists at the door. Instead of coming together to pray for our own needs and concerns, we would empty ourselves and seek to hear from God to know what was on His heart.
Opening in prayer, we asked God to lead us in the ways of His Heart. We slipped into a format that has worked for us. It helps that we had a musician who desired to flow with Holy Spirit and could sing spontaneously. Benoit sings from his heart either songs that he has previously composed or that which comes afresh. There are no song sheets to follow. We keep it very simple. Some join in; others just rest and receive. All are captured in those moments of light and adoration as a love song to Jesus is sung. We then sit in silence. When ten or twelve minutes have passed, I would break the silence and ask if anyone would like to share what has come to them during this time. What proceeded to unfold so amazed us. Each of us had “a piece of the puzzle” of what Jesus spoke to us from His Heart for that moment in time.
He told us that our presence was our gift to Him. We were so very humbled that our coming together brought joy to the Heart of God. Often we were stunned by His amazing mercy and heart to touch the world with His love. His perspective was different from ours, and He wanted us to understand how to pray. We were really like toddlers, all learning to walk at the same time. No two gatherings were ever the same and yet we followed the same path in what became our own monthly pilgrimage, walking together.
Here are some of our discoveries:
God is waiting for us. With lives that are given, places that are set aside and time that is designated, we offer Him a resting place for His Presence. Jesus invites us to share this with Him.
The Presence of God dwells in His people. He is with us all the time. We increase our sensitivity and perception to His Presence in our willingness to be still. Sitting in silence, we learn to listen for His Voice. When we close our natural eyes, He can open the eyes of our heart.
Our prayers become simple. Lord, teach us to pray. . . . come Lord Jesus. . . . let Your Kingdom come . . . on earth as it is in Heaven. . . . show us Your Glory.
The prayers we did not pray were also answered. Truly, Jesus promised that if we would seek Him and His Kingdom first, all the other things would be added to us. We did not know it at the time, but the Holy Spirit was digging a deep well in each of our lives, making our familiar refrain, “Jesus, I trust You.”
Dearest Jesus, as John laid his head upon your chest, we come to rest on you. Our ears are listening to hear Your Heart. Help us to be still with you and move when You move. Grace us that Your heartbeat may become the rhythm of our life. Amen
Deborah Kendrick came into the Catholic Church in 2011 through her interaction with Catholics in ecumenical meetings though out Europe, where she was a conference speaker and led retreats for twenty years. During her testimony, she says, “The French Catholics just loved me into the Church.” She was first ignited for the Lord at the beginning of the outpouring of the Charismatic Renewal. With her husband William, a fine artist, and their five children they traveled extensively, living in France, England and Israel. Deborah’s heart is to see people know and receive the love God has for them which encompasses a New Pentecost for the new evangelization. “God is calling us closer in this hour. Open hearts bring an open Heaven.” You can view more of William’s paintings at www.jerusalemcityofgold.com