Behind The Scenes
Tonight, like I do on most Saturday nights, I've snuck back over to the church to spend some time in prayer and to run one last time thru the sermon text. The read thru the sermon text is not all that fascinating - I read thru the text and my notes, some of it silently, some of it audibly, to get a feel for how I'd like it to go in the morning. I usually wander about the front of the sanctuary for a few minutes dialoguing with God about the message. If you were to walk in on me (and every now and then I'm 'caught'), you might get a laugh out of it.
The prayer time has become very significant for me over the years. I wish I could say that I gleamed it from some giant spiritual mentor of mine. The fact is, if I were to credit anyone with inspiring my Saturday night prayer method, it would be Bruce Springsteen. (Ask me in person to explain that if you're curious... I won't take the space here.) My prayer time consists of my walking thru the sanctuary, praying over each row of seats, sitting in many of the seats myself, and asking God to bless in a very particular way the people who will sit in those seats on Sunday. Most of the time on Sundays I won't see the dots connected. But every once in a while, I will see or hear something that connects a Sunday morning experience back to my Saturday night prayer time - and that is truly amazing when it happens. To really allow you into the mystery of it all, there are occasions, they are very rare but they happen, when I'll be sitting in a seat praying and I'll really gather a sense to stay there and pray for a while. When that has happened, as you might imagine, I am anxious to see who sits in that specific chair in the morning. It has really got to be among life's greatest privileges to have a small part in what God is doing in people's lives. Even if I don't ever know what the specifics are, He does. And I trust Him.
Now it's 10pm. Burke and Cole have just left. They were here readying the building for worship tomorrow. That means I've got the building to myself... well, me and the Lord. So, I'm off to talk to Him about this message, and to sit in your seat for a little while chatting with Him about you. I look forward to seeing you in the morning!