Whisper a Prayer at Noon
Whisper a Prayer in the Evening
To keep your heart in tune.
When I was a little girl, we used to sing this at church all the time. Every now and then I catch myself humming it, and I take that moment to stop and pray, or to stop and listen as the case may be.
It may not always change things to go the way we want them to, but Prayer changes things.
In Toronto, while working at the women’s shelter, the Director and I had a dream. We wanted the women who came through our center to be coveted in prayer. We wanted lives to be changed, and hurts to be healed, and we knew Prayer was the way to go. We designed a program called “Adopt-A-Bed”. We met with women’s groups, churches, pretty much anyone who was willing to listen, and we asked them to pray. One of the women who was staying with us was an artist, and she drew a wonderful picture for us that we incorporated into a bookmark. Each bookmark had a poem written by a resident on it, as well as a bed number. As our turnover rate was so high, we asked the people participating to pray for a specific occupant of a bed, rather than giving names, and focusing on one specific person. Knowing the details of the specific women’s stories weren’t what mattered, as God knows more of their circumstances then even we did. All across the country we had people praying for our residents, and God heard, and God honoured those prayers.
One of the things that really got us moving towards this dream becoming a reality was a simple, ordinary meeting one afternoon with our PR people from our head office. They had come out to meet us, to see what our needs were, and to just get a feel for the program. At the end of the meeting, we said our goodbyes, and one of the PR women said “Can we just stop for a second and say a quick prayer?” In her prayer, she talked about the things we had mentioned during our meeting. We thanked them, and off they went to the next center, and us, to our next project.
But something funny started to happen. One by one, those things we prayed for that day were happening. It was so incredible, that we started making a list of the things we had mentioned by name, and were amazed over and over as we were able to “cross those things off the list”.
Here’s what our list started to look like in a few short months.
*September 29 we held an event to make our residents aware of human trafficking – 39 residents and staff attended with Captain Darlene Hastings leading us into a time of reflection and prayer –there are no words to describe the moment hearing the sobbing of staff and residents – The Holy Spirit was in control.
*614 commenced their Thursday morning table talk discussions with the attendance ranging from 10-18 residents
*A second washer and dryer was donated for the residents
*A grant was approved through SCPI to replace the roof.
*October 24 – the words “I believe” became reality and a transformation took place among the management team – they began to “trust” God to meet their needs both personally and professionally
*The Girl Guides of Canada selected FBH as their service project for their day of leadership training that took place on November 4– we received a van full of tooth paste, socks and underwear, shampoo, tooth brushes, clothing etc.
*A new brochure was produced and printed for FBH.
*On November 18 we received baskets from the Basketeer program to distribute to those who have been housed from FBH.
*Florence Booth House completed and submitted their first Strategic Plan to DHQ
*CMHC chose FBH to be the sole recipients of the proceeds from a Gingerbread Bake-Off where radio and news media personalities participated.
*Contributions towards resident Christmas gifts were a huge hit – the slippers, flip flops, candies, everyone received a large tube of toothpaste, instead of a dixi cup which was what originally all we could give.
*One of the women we prayed with that day raised enough money to buy 60 $10.00 phone cards which were absolutely the greatest gift of all – one resident was able to speak to her family in Africa for an hour and a half; one spoke to her brother who had been in prison for two years. He died a few weeks later; another to her family on the east coat; one to her family in Iran; one resident was able to phone her home country and have the paperwork required to commence college sent to her; many women were able to speak with their children; others who had no one to call passed their cards on to those who had family. Everyone expressed their gratitude.
*The residents did not receive any candy or chocolate for Christmas in 2005 and it was our desire for them to have this – Christmas Eve someone (to this day, we do not know who) dropped off three cases of Cadbury Chocolate. No one remembers taking this donation, however we stumbled across them Christmas Eve evening in our photocopier room.
These are just some of the miracles in action that we witnessed at the shelter. They may seem like small things, but for a center running on a deficit budget, with women who were crying out to be known and loved, it was incredible.
So why am I telling you this?
We encourage the guys at the center to pray for each other, to “Pray without ceasing”. I’m hoping that some of you who’ve stumbled across my random ramblings believe as I do, that Prayer changes things. And if that’s the case, here’s what I’d LOVE to see happen.
I’m going to start a new “tab” or page on my blog. When you click on it, it will open up to a page solely for Prayer requests. As my list changes, I’ll update the page. If you have requests of your own, you can add them in the comment box. It can be as specific or a vague as you want it to be. (Mine may have a whole bunch of initials instead of names for the privacy of some of the people involved.) But the object is to pray. And I’ll be praying for your prayer requests.
It may not work, you may turn to that page and laugh or think I’m a little bit nutty. But when something is layed on your heart to pray about, is it really all that bad to have others praying for you as well?