Monday, February 10, 2014

What I Prayed For During the Snowpocalypse

As I noted in my announcement yesterday, we had to cancel worship and all our other Sunday activities at FCC due to the Longview area receiving a foot of God's fluffy, playful dandruff.

Our secretary, Charlotte, and I reopened the church office today, but the snow is still affect matters--the elementary school across the street from us is still closed, and I still decided to cancel tonight's weekly Bible study because our parking remains relatively inaccessible.

But the major disruptions are over, I think.  And even though I am a bona fide, card-carrying introvert who often loves nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a movie or a book on his day off, doing that for three days in a row made even me feel a touch like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

(Minus the trying to murder my family with an axe, obviously, since I still live alone.  And I don't have an axe.  And I'm really not at all violent.  Okay, maybe not that much like Jack Nicholson in The Shining...)

In addition to catching up on a ton of my reading, working out every day for the first time in God-knows-how-long, and rescheduling all my affected appointments and meetings, I was also able to spend a lot of time in thought and prayer with God.

And despite the cabin fever my circumstances induced, I definitely needed that time to be secluded and (mostly) silent, conversing only with myself and with God.  In a way, it was almost like a one-man prayer retreat.

These are a few of the people and things I spent time praying for/about during my weekend Snowpocalypse:

The obvious--me getting home safely as the snow began to fall on Thursday.  That was a pretty fervent prayer.

The church community I serve, that they might remain safe and that our building might be sturdy to withstand the blizzard (they did, and it was).

The (sadly numerous) homeless population in Longview, especially after I spent nearly an hour just before worship last Sunday (the 2nd) ministering to a homeless woman who showed up on our church doorstep that morning experiencing delirium tremens.

The family and friends of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I've been such a fan of his work ever since I saw Leap of Faith in youth group one evening, and I minister to a lot of addicts and recovering addicts.  His death felt personal to me without having ever met him.

The Olympians in Sochi, as well as the gay and lesbian citizens of Russia, many of whom live in circumstances more complicated than we as foreigners realize.

Michael Sam.

Alisha and Andrew, the happy couple whose wedding I am performing this Saturday, and whose rehearsal this past weekend I was forced to postpone.

The children in my hometown of Kelso, whose (honestly underfunded) schools have a property levy on the ballot to raise funds.

The inmates in our county jail after a fourth inmate in a year was found dead (this time via suicide, it appears).

Teachers--and their students--across the state of Oregon who are either already on strike or about to strike.

And, of course, I prayed for the concerns and intentions of my congregants.

I feel like I have learned much about how I pray from my three days of weather-inflicted solitude.  It gave me the necessary time to expand the scope of my praying to more than just the usual suspects of health and well-being for my family, friends, church, and so on.  It helped me tap into the universal nature of prayer...and so I pray that it is a lesson that stays with me, and with my practice of praying, for many years to come.

What have you been praying for lately?  How might you dig deeper into your prayer life to see what else there is for you to tap into?

Yours in Christ,

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