“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” ~Hebrews 7:21
Nearly 90 men of the Legacy Church of Christ met in our worship center this past weekend to pray over 1,500+ requests from our church family and the North Richland Hills community. Groups ranged in size from two or three to seven or eight. Continuously for 24 straight hours. Lots of overlap as most of the groups needed much longer than an hour to pray for the 50-60 requests they were assigned and for each other.
We opened up the floor during our prayer breakfast Saturday morning to process the previous 24 Hours of Prayer. And the discussion was inspiring.
Everyone expressed a genuine sense of humility and awe as they sat down in the presence of God with that many requests from our brothers and sisters. What a responsibility. Some felt a great sense of unworthiness. What great faith our church family has in prayer and in our God to take the time to write down their pleas. What great trust they have in us to take those requests to the Father. It was said many times that they learned more about their own brothers with whom they prayed for one hour than if they’d spent all weekend with them doing something else. There’s something about listening and participating as someone pours out their heart to God. There’s a true bonding that takes place that can’t really be described, it can only be experienced. I know my life will never be the same after having spent 90-minutes praying with Quincy and Manuel Friday afternoon. And neither will our friendships. I see them differently now. I know them differently. Lord, bless Quincy. Your Word dwells in him. He is really living in you. Please bless him. We were all amazed to realize that people we run into in the halls of our church building two or three times a week, for years, are dealing with some of the things they’re dealing with. Who knew? It never would have occured to me. I see them differently now. I treat them differently now. What great ministry opportunities something like this creates. God, please give me the sensitivity to recognize those people who are all around me and the power to jump in and hug them and love them and minister to them. It’s amazing to read the requests of the strongest and most faithful people I know. They’re asking for forgiveness. They’re asking for strength. They’re asking for answers. They’re asking for the power to be better. And I can’t imagine them being any better. God, I’ve got such a long, long way to go. Please help me be more like your Son. More like them. Al Grant prayed with four different groups from 1:00 am to 5:00 am Saturday. And he began each of those hours by confessing his own sins to our Lord. He ended each of those hours by making all the men hold hands in a circle, encouraging them to feel the same love he was feeling. Father, please help me be more like Al.
The prayers were raw. And they were all for other people.
We are Christ-like when we pray for other people. When we bear one another’s burdens to God’s throne, we are being like Jesus. When we lift up our brothers and sisters, when we carry their concerns, when we take their problems to God, we’re imitating Christ.
When I mentioned at the close of our breakfast that the next 24 Hours of Prayer was already set for September 18-19 next year, we nearly had a revolt on our hands. We can’t wait that long. We need to do this at least twice a year. At least. They’re right.
October 8, 2008
This week’s poll has the same ten teams at the top, just in a little different order. OU & Mizzou remain #1 & #2. LSU drops from #3 to #5. So Alabama, Texas, and Texas Tech all move up a slot. South Florida drops from #12 to #19. Auburn falls seven spaces to #20. And the undefeated Commodores bolt from #19 all the way up to #13. Wisconsin is out. Virginia Tech is in. Charlie gives us another Mangino crack. Steve has this week’s only prediction on the outcome of this week’s Shootout at the Cotton Bowl. I’ll throw mine in right now: Texas 52, OU 10.
1. Oklahoma (10 1st place votes, 294 total votes) – “Last week for OU to be number one this year: Texas 29, OU 27.” SF; “Baylor will have to leave the Big 12 ‘Sooner’ or later.” JR; “Would love to see Texas whoop up on some Boomer Sooner.” JennG; “Winners of the Big 12.” JS; “Their defense will help them prevail in the Red River Shootout.” JimG; “Can they play defense against a real team?” PD; “Gotta vote ‘em high while I can.” RA; “Next poll, #12.” MH;
8. USC (200) – “Have they righted the ship?” BW; “Highest ranked one-loss team. Trojans hoping everybody else falls.” MH; “If Sanchez is OK, USC is OK.” PD.
9. BYU (197) – “As a diehard Euless Trinity supporter, I’m obligated to vote for a team with players named Vakapuna, Latu, and Mahuika.” JR; “BCS-crashing party starts in SaltLake.” CJ; “Could BYU be QBU again?” MH; “They will enjoy conference play.” BW.
11. Florida (146) – “It was just Arkansas.” BW; “Don’t have quite the teeth they had three weeks ago.” CJ;
13. Vanderbilt (127) – “Still best team in Tennessee.” SF; “Daydream becoming reality.” CJ; “Proof you can win with smart guys.” DM; “The nerds are here.” PD; “Can’t believe they are here.” BW; “Too high.” JS;
16. Oklahoma St. (86) – “Their defense scored more points than their offense.” JennG; “Aggies exposed weaknesses in their D. Missouri will capitalize this weekend.” CJ; “Scary running the ball.” JS;
18. Virginia Tech (38) – “Starting to get going.” BW; “Bouncing back nicely as they always do.” CJ;
20. Auburn (21) – Also receiving votes: