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  • Writer's pictureJoni Topper

Small Church Big Prayer

All families experience an ebb and flow of life, a changing of seasons. Churches are families too. Ours has been a small family recently whose warmth and love for each other does not change though we be many or few.


There is a man who voiced a difficult prayer today at church. He asked for each family member there to write his name on a piece of paper and put it in their Bible to remind them to pray for him. He told us he has cancer and he asked us to pray for God’s help as he finds an oncologist. This man is a private person. Voicing this concern openly was outside his comfort zone. I was so thankful that he felt at home there, safe and surrounded by love.


We will walk this journey together because he asked us to be there with him. Had he kept his need private, there would have not been the same kind of community. Hearing the pleas directly from him was powerful. Today every person present when his voice expressed the need will remember the moment forever.


The Facebook, Instagram, Twitter age we live in bombards us daily with details and stories describing the lives of those we know well and of people with whom we are unfamiliar. Hearing a familiar voice in a well-known setting creates space for the heart to embrace the moment.


Growing up in church creates a heritage that nothing can mimic. There is something about feeling at home with voices lifted in prayer that supersedes the excitement of entertainment. As a child I did not always understand the adults who felt the need to talk to God and yet even in what sometimes felt like boredom, there was a comfort.


Society can boast of many achievements during my lifetime. I do not, however, believe it has provided a peace for the soul. The things our human spirit craves most are not provided by wealth or automation. They will not be improved on with time and will not come out in a newer version at least once a year.


The voice of a friend crying out to God is a sacred moment. Today we joined with our friend in confidence that the One who created us can repair, can heal what is broken and that providence is better than understanding.


I learned these things in a small church.



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