Each time I go, it's a little different. I told myself, "Be open." Open to a new location. Open to a new experience. Open to whatever God brings on a given day. Today one of my skateboard "dudes" dropped by for a couple of minutes, but for the most part the station functioned the way I had originally imagined it, with students and even staff stopping by for a prayer. Prayers were requested for injuries, for sick relatives, for clarity and growth. I broke out my oil stock for a wounded eye. I lost count, but I would guess I had at least 10 prayer requests in about an hour and a half. A few stopped in to ask what it was all about, and one person called out in passing that I could pray for everyone to be okay.
One of my favorite moments was when I returned to the station after a bathroom break and discovered a student taking a picture of the "How may I pray for you?" sign with his phone. He told me he was really glad that someone was doing this. Several people walked by and said "Thank you," and many more smiled. After I said a prayer for one person, she asked me how she could pray for me. A gift!
I find that I am at peace in this ministry, though I could still use a little more confidence in my ability to pray extemporaneously. Each Thursday I want to get there earlier and stay later. I think I would enjoy being out there all day if I didn't have other responsibilities to attend to as well. And if the rain held off. I'm guessing I need to come up with the rain/cold location next. I had thought it would be the coffee shop, but it's so crowded and loud. It's tough to find an inside spot that is both visible and yet private and quiet enough for a conversation or a moment of prayer.
Today is the first day I've had people read the sign, stop, turn around, and come up to me to ask for a prayer. It seems to be filling a need, and for that I am grateful. It makes me wonder where else we could set up prayer stations or "praying posts" if you will. Again - not in order to find members or create pledging units, but to carry a ministry of presence into the world and meet people where they are. The students are so grateful for the prayers. Who else might be longing for them as well?
|View of Trible Library from my chair|