“Stay in your seats please, the ministry team will be approaching to pray a blessing over you.” It wasn’t a unreasonable thing… but I didn’t sign up for this. After all, it was my first time as part of the ministry team and I was clueless.
Slowly, members of the team began to approach and pray for people. Some laid a prayer shawl over the person they were ministering to. I chose a lady and knelt before her placing my hands on hers; I spoke of God’s love for her. The prayer was short and I don’t know what she thought but I felt like an idiot. I got up, went to the back, and stayed there until the praying was over.
A leader came up front again and asked everyone to line up. Two men held up a Chuppah in the front of the room. Each person was supposed to walk under it as we prayed for him or her. It was to symbolize new beginnings as the bride of Christ.
I stood near the Chuppah with my hands raised in the air; thanking the Lord for all he was doing. The leader said “Holly, go get someone and walk them through.” Oh great, just when I think I have suffered enough fear, here we go again. I approached a lady named Diane and began to slowly walk with her toward the Chuppah, trying to pray blessings over her.
After we got through, I saw Dorothy, an experienced member of the team. She took Diane off my hands and began praying for her. What a relief! I went back to the place I had been standing, glad that it was over. The leader looked at me and said “Holly, go get another one and walk them through.”
Was there no limit to the torture I was to endure today? I started walking with another lady named Becky. I kept praying what seemed like the same inadequate words. She began crying as we got under the Chuppah. Dorothy was there and I could see her eyes were teary and bloodshot. She glanced at me, then spoke some words to Becky. As we continued through, I figured Dorothy would take her off my hands.
Instead, she told me “minister to her.” A swearword flashed in my panic-stricken mind. I put my hand on Becky’s’ shoulder and stood there for a second collecting myself. Not knowing what else to do, I started repeating some of the words I had been speaking to her about how God loves her and that she is a treasure to Him.
As I continued praying, new things started to come to me. I wanted to stop; to be done with this and go to the back of the room where it was safe. Instead, I could see that the words were affecting her and she began to cry even more.
I pressed in and continued to speak whatever came to me regarding her. I even began crying. I knew she was in the choir, but that was the last thing on my mind as I heard myself speak “when you sing and worship before the Lord it makes Him happy.” Now I was really getting emotional and I continued praying until finally everything that had come to me was poured out. Silent now, I looked at her, expecting to see a disappointed look.
She spoke to me, tears pouring down her face and said, “I always knew that God loved other people, but now I really know he loves me too. When you were praying, thoughts were coming into my head like He doesn’t really love me and other thoughts too. But for every thought I had, your prayer countered each one.”
I was blown away. I said “that’s never happened to me before!” She hugged me, thanked me, and told me to continue to let God use me.
I went to the back of the room a bit shaken and I continued crying for about a half hour after. I could feel a pain that I can only describe as sadness in my heart. I told one of the leaders about it and her response was that I was feeling the Lord’s compassion for Becky. I finally realize what it means to be a vessel, to be led by the Holy Spirit, pouring out his love on my precious sister in Christ.
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