Have you ever felt stirred within your soul? You wonder if it's possibly God or your lunch?
This past January, I was being stirred. God had been speaking through His Word and the Holy Spirit and stirring in my heart a desire to know Him, make Him know and to go together. On February 23, I felt a full green light. I drafted a post in a local Christian moms Facebook group I was part of:
"As for me, IF I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself." Is this speaking to anyone else? God has so stirred in my heart a desire to see Him advance te gospel in our city. Not my agenda, any one particular church or organization but His kingdom. And I believe it will begin in the hearts of anyone willing to repent and believe. I can't transform anyone's life but God sure can and will if we let Him move THROUGH us invidivually and through all of the different bodies of Christ in our city. Here's the first leg of the dream: at least one woman from every community, one woman from each decade of life, one woman from every church, and one woman from every nationality; Wednesday, March 29 at 7:30 PM. Location TBD."
I hovered over the "Post" button for a minute considering the possibility that I was simply crazy and imagined the whole thing. I hit "Post" anyway.
Then I began thinking. The questions and arguments flooded my mind. Did it occur to you Stephanie that you've never hosted a prayer meeting in your life? Where are you going to host this little gathering? What do you know about organizing corporate prayer.
The answer to those questions were no, I dont know, and nothing. It sounded promising.
Since I had no answers, I brought them to the Lord instead. I richocheted between panic and peace. As I was thinking about how much of not a prayer expert I was, I heard the guy sitting across from me yell, "Ruth, Ruth!" in attempt to flag down someone he spotted.
Immediately I thought, Ruth? I know a Ruth. Praying Ruth! Ruth loves to pray! I have to talk to Ruth! I jumped up from my seat and found praying Ruth. I awkwardly began with, "You probably don't remember me..." I assure you she did not.
(Five years earlier my mom met Ruth on the prayer team for a Lifeway event that was in Calgary. She mentioned to me that she met this woman who lived in Airdrie. Almost a year later I happened to be subbing in a local school where Ruth was working. I had introduced myself and we'd shared a brief conversation in the staff room before returning to work.)
Here we were sitting in a coffee shop (the friend she was meeting was late, coincidentally) so I spilled my heart for this prayer gathering. Her response astounded me. She had a heart to pray for our city and had been for years but a formal ministry hadn't taken off the way she'd hoped. She had been praying for years that the churches in our city would gather together and pray. She continued to faithfully host a prayer group in her home with the women she'd taught to pray scripture.
I stared, slightly in shock and slightly in awe of God and said, "Well it sounds like God is just picking up His own dream right where He left off with you!" We exchanged numbers and she said she would whatever she could to help. Only God.
That night, I printed off a map for our city and began writing names on the different communities as people were responding to the post in the moms group. Within a day, there were over 18 churches, 13 communities and 4 decades represented. Only God.
The next day I emailed my prayer warriors. Subject line: With Much Fear and Trembling
"I do not know where we will meet or how we will do this. I only know Jesus said, "IF I, I am lifted up from the earth I WILL draw all people to Myself" and "IF my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land." Will you pray with me? He said "Open my eyes and look at the fields for they are ready for harvest." Will you ask with me? Bring a spirit of unity across the denominations to know Him and make Him known in this city; Wisdom to structure this evening to allow for His Spirit to fully move; Supply a place to accomodate the people and everything else logistically for the evening."
I had also been talking with the Lord about how I thought some worship music would be great at this thing and asked Him to connect me with women with a heart for the gospel. That afternoon, I hopped onto Facebook and noticed that my favorite pastor's wife was speaking at the church down the road from me in a few hours. I texted her and asked if I could come/told her I was coming. She was gracious as always.
The last minute plan turned into another Divinely orchestrated appointed as God connected me with praying Peggy and reconnected me with singing Lorilee (who I met 5 years ago at a baby class in town) that night.
That Sunday I approached the musicians at my church and asked if anyone would be interested in playing at this event that didn't yet have a name or location. Two said they were available and to keep them posted.
The following Wednesday, I got a Facebook Messenger request that read: "Hi Stephanie. I love what you posted. My heart is bursting to see our city changed for Jesus. Wondering if tea sounds workable any time? Don't know why but I feel like I need to meet you!"
After reading that the morning of Thursday, March 2, (one week after the first post), I messaged those I had met by Divine appointment that week and by 2:00 PM all 5 of us were sitting around that same giant table at the coffee shop. Only God.
Sitting around that table was a common desire to see our city come to know Jesus. There was one with a passion for and experience in prayer, one with a passion for worship, one with a passion for Bible teaching, one with a passion for prayer and gifted in organizing and one with a passion for prayer, the Holy Spirit and creating community. I couldn't make this up if I tried. Only God.
Two things remained in the air: where to have it and what to call it.
God provided a beautiful venue, an empty envelope He promised to fill to pay for it, the event insurance, the sound equipment, and the sound technician. Lorilee told me she was still in need of a drummer and acoustic guitar player. Guess which instruments the two available musicians from my church played? Only God.
We were still without a name. I was reading a book an author friend had recently gifted me with and came across the word convergence. I looked it and it's root word up:
Definition of converge
1: to tend or move toward one point or one another : come together :
2: to come together and unite in a common interest or focus
The prayer gathering finally had a name: Converge. Connecting women for the kingdom. Only God.
Four weeks later on Wednesday March 29, 70 women from over 12 churches converged to praise God, prepare in the Word and pray together so our city may know Jesus. Only God.
And there was one. One beautiful soul who said yes Jesus and the eternal life He offers. She placed her life in His hands and believed that He died for her and rose again. I heared through my sweet sisters in Christ that she was baptized this past Sunday. Only God.
What better reason to converge than for the sake of the kingdom?
This Tuesday June 20th, at 7:00 PM, we will converge again at Converge for the sake of the kingdom and the great name of Jesus, so together, we can know Him and make Him known in our city.
God is always at work. He's always on the move. He's on a mission to bring people home. He has been since that consequential day in the garden. But the plan has always been the same: to be with Him forever. This is possible because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are part of the plan. He has the plan. He has the details. So you can simply be with Him. If you make it your goal to simply be with Him, then you'll find yourself going where He goes, staying where He stays and moving when He moves. Simply say, "I will follow You Jesus."
If we seek to faithfully follow Him in everyday ways, we just might find ourselves keeping in step with the Spirit on the greatest adventure of our lives, smiling and saying, only God.