With summer coming up and schedules slowing down, many of us start looking for impacting experiences that will grow our faith. When we were kids it was summer or “church” camp. Other times it has been mission trips. But have you ever considered using your summer to start attending an Experience Life Prayer Gathering?
A “prayer gathering” may bring many images to mind. People have wild pictures in their head of having to sit in a circle and hold hands, being forced to pray in front of people and airing all their past regrets to a room of people they hardly know. The whole idea of gathering to pray together can bring on some anxious feelings.
What may surprise you then, is that’s not what an Experience Life Prayer Gathering looks like at all. We’ve heard countless times from people, that when they finally decided to come, they found a laid back service that was not only fun, but nothing like what they imagined it to be. No people sitting in circles. No one forced to share anything personal. No awkward moments of having to pray out loud in front of a whole room.
But more than what they didn’t find, was what they did find. Here are just a few, and our hope, is that you would discover these as well when you visit a prayer gathering.
1. New Friends
An Experience Life Prayer Gathering may be the perfect place to make some new friends and experience community in a deeper way. We hear all the time from people, that some of their closest friendships were made at a prayer gathering. In contrast to the large weekend services that have thousands of people in the building at one time, the prayer gathering is a more intimate setting, so it’s easier to get to know people. Whether it’s asking for prayer from a prayer team member, meeting people you regularly sit around, or getting to pray for someone else – the experience usually results in getting to know some incredible people; and a group that’s got your back through the highs and lows of life.
2. Your personal prayer life will grow
Experience Life’s Prayer Gathering may be focused on corporate prayer, but you’ll be surprised how much of it will change your personal prayer life as well. If you’re finding that your time with God at home is a bit stale, and struggling with finding ways to engage in more than the “please help me pass this test” – trying out a Prayer Gathering may be the thing that could revitalize your time with God.
Every week at our gatherings, pastors lead through different topics to pray for, but also different ways to pray for them. You’ll find yourself writing out short prayers for the lost on canvases, prayer walking the building, laying a hand on someone who has cancer, agreeing in prayer that God would move in their life and heal them.
The feedback we hear from so many, is that, slowly, without even realizing they were doing it, they started incorporating what they experienced at a prayer gathering into their own prayer life, and it completely transformed their relationship with God. They suddenly start talking to God in a new way. We often hear, “I thought I didn’t know how to pray, but after coming to prayer, I started talking to God like I did anyone else. It made me excited to pray and I felt that I too, could see those incredible answers to prayer that I’d only read about.”
3. You’ll feel a part of the team
Ever feel like you attend church on Sundays, but never really feel part of the church? Like you’re more a spectator than part of the team? Getting involved in a prayer gathering is a great way to change that! Not only by making friends and building community, but by knowing more about what is happening at Experience Life. You’ll be able to pray for short term mission teams and then hear their stories as they return. You’ll hear from pastors and staff about what God is teaching them in their own lives. You’ll hear about what’s happening in our different ministries, events, and things that are as near as Lubbock or as far as Thailand!
Summer is great for vacations, swimming, barbeques, and so much more. But this year, think about what would change in your life, your marriage, your family’s lives, if prayer became a central part of it. As someone who has experienced it, I can tell you – it may only be one hour each week, but it will leave a much longer impact.