Yesterday I got together with two colleagues to do some planning for the autumn term at our Church.
There were special services – like Harvest, a Pets service and Remembrance Sunday ti prepare for. What we planned for the services, how we might spread the word about them and encourage people to come, how the children might be involved.
There was our upcoming Alpha course to think about and confirmation candidates to prepare for the Bishop’s visit in November.
There was the Junior Church rota with many blank slots in it and Youth Club starting back soon – with the need to plan activities and Bible stories for that.
On top of all this, there were a hundred other bits and pieces that needed doing – from ordering new loo rolls to sorting a jam in the church printer (the organist had left a message saying she’d tried for hours to sort this but failed.)
After an hour and a half of going through all these things, I was feeling overwhelmed. I had a task list as long as my arm – and really needed to start getting on with a few jobs.
But we took the time and spent the next twenty minutes in prayer. Remembering why we are here and why we are doing these things. Remembering how much our world needs Jesus – to show and guide us in the right way and to bring healing to broken lives and a broken world. We prayed for confidence and courage. We prayed that God would take away our fears and feelings of overwhelm.
And, as we prayed, something changed. Our feelings of inadequacy and anxiety just slipped away. We saw things in perspective. We saw things through God’s eyes. We knew we are not in this on our own but that God is with us. And He is helping and equipping us every step of the way.
We started to feel thankful. And we saw the way God has already blessed us and delighted us in so many ways. We felt our trust renewed – that He would surprise us and delight us again.
Later, when I went into the Vestry to confront the printer jam, I found that – amazingly – I fixed it immediately. An answer, you might say, to an unspoken prayer. But the most amazing answer to prayer was really prayer itself.
Sitting at my desk, starting my tasks, I realised that taking the time to pray had made all the difference. It had stopped me rushing around in a panic, feeling frantic. It had made me feel at peace, even joyful.
Knowing that, whatever happened, whatever got done or didn’t get done, I am doing God’s will. That He loves me. That He is with me. And that is enough.