Last week my husband and I (Sandy) got to have a date night. We don’t really like date nights honestly because when my husband isn’t working we prefer to be together as a family. (Don’t worry we get alone time it’s just that crowded restaurants, congested parking lots and overpriced food aren’t really our thing.)
But last Thursday was something different. Michael W Smith and TBN decided to put together a free event for Nashville called Surrounded. The event was designed for Christians to come together and worship with some amazing musical talent and church leaders from all over the city would lead them in prayer over the community, state, and nation.
It was an amazing experience to see an arena the size of Bridgestone in Nashville full to capacity, with everyone singing at the top of their lungs. It was obviously an impressive sight. But what was even more notable to me were the church leaders who led the prayer section.
With all the people backing this event, they could’ve paraded celebrity preachers and worship leaders from all over the country across that stage to pray elaborate, poetic, inspiring prayers, but instead, they went into our community and they gathered together pastors and church leaders and gave them the platform to pray very specifically for what our city needs. It was also hard to ignore the fact that they had an even number of men and women praying, they had all ethnicities and even prayers in Spanish and Chinese.
It was very profound to see an event of this scale recognize that the prayer of a woman is powerful. We’ve talked a lot about how we are all created in the image of God as equal partners, but Elisabeth and I very much believe that men and women were created uniquely and they have different strengths and gifts and talents and that is all part of God’s design to create a couple who balance and support each other in life and in our mission to serve Him.
It’s disheartening when so many churches limit women’s involvement and influence to the church nursery. Hearing the prayers of these people who all live in the same place and minister to the same communities made it remarkably clear that our perspectives are unique, our missions are unique, our passions are unique and likewise, our prayers are unique. To withhold the prayers of a woman is to rob ourselves of God’s blessing. There are ways a woman prays that a man cannot and there are things that a woman thinks to pray for that a man wouldn’t even begin to ask.
Although the worship was powerful and I will likely write more about that later, the most profound thing that I walked away with was a renewed sense of calling to prayer. It’s something God has been preparing my heart for even before this event. I have always believed in the power of prayer but lately, I have had a burning fire to pray more and more. For people I know and for total strangers alike. In times of celebration and in times of hopelessness. In the quiet of night and in the chaos of the everyday.
This event reminded me that our prayers are needed. Our prayers are necessary. We need to pray BIG. We need to pray for each other. We need to pray for our cities. We need to pray for things that we can’t even imagine we would see in our lifetime. And we need to pray for what we hope the world will become for our children.
Never doubt the power of your prayer.