Deuteronomy 4:7 (New International Version)
7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
We gathered, drawn together by a common bond, a desire to deepen our roots in the faith but also by a hunger for community and fellowship.
This night each week is when the tables are set for as many as come and a meal is a gathering place.
Tonight three or four different conversations were going on all at once over dinner. Two little girls in pajamas and fluffy housecoats were deep in conversation with Andrew, who has the priceless ability to converse with children and apparently enjoy it as much as they do. They are making precious memories and learning that their words are valued and taken seriously. This is one adult that listens and talks back--what a gift he is to them.
The meal was ready later than usual, and Susan P. and Michelle had to leave at 8.00--they both rise early for work, so we had prayer after supper so that they could be included and then leave before the book study. Six of us prayed for the needs of the person on our left--there were tears and laughter as we prayed--tears as people's prayers touched tender places and laughter as Michelle prayed that God would take me safely to London next week--and I begged, "No--I'm not going to London God--please don't take me there!" (I'm headed for Birmingham and had visions of the plane making an emergency detour to London).
We were deep in discussion on Soul Talk, by Larry Crabb, using some notes and discussion questions prepared by Susan Stewart, when Richard arrived. "I'm so glad I didn't miss prayer," he said. We laughed and said we would have to pray again.
After the study, the second wave of prayer was a refreshing and edifying time of blessing. I had started my day this morning reading Amy Carmichael, as usual, and the verse from Deuteronomy 4:7
... the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him
I thought to myself that this alone is a reason to pray. God comes near when we do!