Sustaining Prayer in Troubled Times

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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.

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