Sustaining Prayer in Troubled Times
It was Wednesday, January 16, 1991. It was a normal night of Family Ministry programming until 6:00 p.m. when Desert Storm began with massive missile attacks on targets in Iraq and Kuwait. As students and leaders gathered, all the normal plans were cancelled and we gathered together in the Sanctuary for prayer. We prayed for what might happen, the people who were involved, for soldiers, for families, for those who would be caught in the crossfire. And then we went home to be with our families and continue to pray.
As a faith community we have always gathered for prayer in troubled times. When the Twin Towers were destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, the following evening we gathered for prayer, and in that week created a “carpet of prayer” as the maroon carpeting near the altar was literally covered with the prayer concerns of thousands of people.
For many years we’ve offered the Service of Remembrance, where we recognize that the pain around the loss of a family member or friend cuts the deepest right around Christmas time. So, we gather in darkness and listen to the strains of a harp and light candles as we read the names of those we’ve lost. In 2013, we added 26 new names to the list, all who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and our hearts are joined as one as we grieve unspeakable loss. Prayer has the power to sustain us in troubled times.