Photo by Milada Vigerova

I am always surprised by the moments in the life of leading a congregation that end up filling my soul. That conversation with a neighbor that I didn’t expect. Or maybe the conversation with the bartender at my local watering hole. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to serve a friend or a stranger. Often it has been seeing God provide for our family.

Tonight I had one of those moments.

Here’s the thing, I’m not a big corporate pray-er. I have never really enjoyed praying in groups. At conferences or gatherings where they make you split up into small groups and pray for each other, I slip out the back. It always feels fake and lame.

I’m a pastor, I shouldn’t feel like that. Before that I was a missionary, I shouldn’t have felt like that then either. There’s a spirituality standard for us professional Christians, right? If there is, I fail miserably at this point.

Tonight we started the new year with the missional community that meets in our home by praying for one another. I have to admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. It seemed like the right thing to do, I was convinced that this was what God was encouraging us to do. If I’m honest, I was kind of dreading it.

As the stories and prayer requests began to flow and the prayers were offered up for one another, I sat there enthralled. I was amazed at the answer to prayer over the year. My heart and mind were fully engaged in hearing the stories of my friends.

I took to Facebook after and posted:

I meant it. It was good for my soul.

Something changed in me tonight.

I think I’ll probably still slip out the back at conferences during “forced prayer” time. But, I can’t wait for the next time I get to hear the stories of my friends and pray for one another.

We prayed, and it was beautiful.

We Prayed was originally published in The Rev on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.