by Cheryl Witham

Our healing service was held despite the postponement and the cold.  Thank you to all who came to minister and to participate in the offering of prayer.  It is a privilege to minister to those who come for prayer.  God shows himself as gracious and compassionate as we bring our confessions and requests to him.

We considered the story of Gideon (Judges 6:11-27).  Gideon may not seem like a story for Advent, but the victory that Gideon won over Midian is referred to by Isaiah in the promise of “the child to be born”; the Son that would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah proclaims his coming will be “as a bright light in the darkness, bringing gladness and rejoicing, God will break the yoke of the people’s burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor as at the battle of Midian” (Is 9:4).

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We were reminded that God has made provision for our real human needs for identity, love and security.  God our Father hears our cry.  He is not offended by our needs or neediness.  He comes into the midst of our inadequacy, our fear, our darkest secrets, our deepest disappointments, and greatest failures.  He comes into our confusion and frustrated fruitless efforts.  He comes to us in our caves and crazy places of protection.  His word is, “I am with you.  Begin by listening to my voice and obeying my word. Begin at home.”

One practical invitation from the evening was to ask God different questions; rather than asking Why?, ask Who?  Who am I?  Who are You?  Ask What?  What do I believe?  What do I do next?  Ask How?  How do I do what you are telling me to do?

Our prayer continues to be, “Prince of Peace, Angel of the Lord, the ever living one; rule over our hearts.  Bring a quiet confidence of spirit to those who have lost their way.  Receive our sacrifice.  Reorder our priorities and passions.  Lift us from the messiness of our lives into the truth of our identity.  Remember us.  Remind us. Reimage us.  Use us as your warriors of righteousness; for our sake and for those who will come after us.  Amen.”