On Friday, February 26 over a dozen people from at least four churches and three denominations met at LifeQuest Ministries for an hour of prayer for the people of Flint. Reverend Jerry Bishop opened by calling on God’s people to pray, even though “You don’t get a lot of accolades for turning up for prayer.” Bishop led us into prayer with these words:
You don’t need a seminary degree to help God’s people. You don’t need a congressional appointment. All you have to do is say, ‘God, show me.'
Those are the only objective words I can say about this prayer meeting, because it was not what I expected. The meeting took place in a black church space and was led by an African-American pastor. Based on my experiences of situations like that, I was expecting prayer time to be loud, for people to be talking and crying out.
But we were silent before the Lord. Together. For an hour.
Each person did something different. One man knelt and collapsed over the seat of his chair, his face in his hands. Another man knelt at the front of the sanctuary, often raising his arms. One woman’s lips never stopped moving in prayer. A man lay on the floor between two rows of chairs, flat on his face. Another woman prayed while making motions with her hands. Some heads were bowed; others were lifted up. At one point, Bishop paced back and forth across the front of the room, the squeak of his shoes giving away his speed even if we had our eyes closed. But none of us prayed for attention from each other – just from the Lord.
I kept being brought back to a song that goes,
The presence of the Lord is here.
God’s presence was thick and heavy in that room. It was electric, and it was powerful.
This is the prayer I was left with:
May we be as relentless as Jerry Bishop’s pacing, as persevering at the woman whose lips moved unceasingly, as vulnerable as the man on the floor, as one with the hurting as the man curled over his chair, as bold as those who raised their arms – and like each person who came, may we show up for your beloved children in Flint.
G-RAP brothers and sisters, if any of your churches have events or programs to help Flint, let us know, so we can help get the word out.