As the moms in my neighborhood grew in friendship and were meeting together regularly, my heart also was yearning for more time in prayer with others. I wondered if anyone in the neighborhood felt the same way. A couple of the moms coming to our Friday play date were Christians, and were connected to local churches, but most were not. They were nice ladies and we were becoming good friends, but I didn’t know anything about their faith.
I asked the group if anyone would be interested in participating in a neighborhood prayer group, where we could pray for our kids, and our marriages, and the needs of our neighborhood. I thought for sure the Christian gals in the group would be all in. I didn’t know about the others.
I was dead wrong.
The Christian gals were already connected in churches, in Bible studies, connected to others Christians and fellowship. So they had no need for a prayer group in the neighborhood. Those needs were being met for them elsewhere, and maybe it would be just one more thing to do. Two gals with no church connection really wanted to pray. Another gal who was catholic but not super connected in her church wanted to come. So the four of us began, and met regularly. We lit candles and I read some scripture and christian poems or writings to inspire us, and we talked a little about things that needed prayer, and some prayed out loud, and some didn’t.
My Catholic friend and I grew deep in respect for one another’s faith. We began to tease, the Protestant to the Catholic: “Can’t you pray your own original prayer? You have to have a written guide!” And Catholic to Protestant: “you are always so off the cuff and just say whatever is on the top of your head!” That teasing grew into deep respect. I loved when my friend would bring written prayers from her Catholic tradition that spoke to all of us and encouraged us, from Catholic brothers or sisters from some other time in history. She also was encouraged by being able to experience the spontaneity of speaking to God informally, and as a dear friend.
The two other gals over time both got connected with other local churches, and now are walking with Christ, and praying regularly, and one is into small groups and ministry. We still connect to encourage one another. These women are dear sisters in my heart.