As we come to the end of this series, let’s recap: In part one we looked at the process like that of metamorphosis – change is happening, it might not be comfortable, but it’s necessary as we’re transformed into the Image of Christ.
In part two, Karin and I shared about the importance of waiting; that instead of becoming impatient, we fix our gaze upon Jesus and prepare our hearts during the waiting season.
In part three, Erika and I shared the importance of staying connected with the Lord; not running ahead, taking things into our own hands, but staying connected to the Vine; allowing ALL that the Lord desires for the change to be successful, and the “Butterfly” to emerge!
Though your circumstances may look differently during this changing season, I’d like to share my personal journey, hoping that it might somehow help you to relate and be encouraged.
In 2008 I contracted a virus which led to symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and a diagnosis of such in 2009.
During 2009 the Wilmington House of Prayer launched the Community Prayer Room on Main Street, which was open 24/7 for four years. During those years I was in the worst pain of my life, but knowing the Lord is worthy of a people standing watch with Him, praying 24/7, I persevered doing the nightwatch weekly from 2-4 a.m. and 4-6 a.m.
Because the pain inhibited my movement, it would take me nearly two hours to get up, get dressed and get to the Prayer Room. I never really thought much about it because we were a group of people from about 25 different congregations in Clinton County, contending together to keep the Prayer Room doors open … thus, I persevered.
However, in 2013 we lost some night watchmen, then some day watchmen, and by 2016 the doors were closed more than they were open. My heart was beginning to get discouraged, the pain wasn’t going away and I felt the Lord release me from the wightwatch and call me into a sabbatical, a time of rest.
But what would this look like? Through a board decision, we closed the Prayer Room doors to the public in October of 2016, while the present watchmen still took time to pray, but more so to be refreshed as they spent time with the Lord alone without ministering to the public.
During this time I rested and didn’t take any time as a watchman, praying in the Prayer Room. This was foreign to me as being in the Prayer Room praying was all I had known since 2009.
We re-opened the doors in December of 2016, but still on a limited basis with no real consistent hours. To my surprise, my sabbatical continued, and though I’m back in the Prayer Room one day a week, it’s STILL continuing.
I began to feel like I was going through a spiritual metamorphosis, that I was that caterpillar, dissolving inside a cocoon. I didn’t know who I was anymore, what the House of Prayer Ministry was going to look like, or what I was going to do when I finally emerged from this so-called cocoon!
I prayed, but it was difficult; I would get impatient as the process of waiting seemed much too long and at times I felt disconnected from the Lord, not hearing His voice or feeling His Presence as was so natural for me before this season.
Early in 2017 I listened to a message on entering into the Lord’s rest and not striving. So, with a deep breath, I let go, willingly crawled into the cocoon to let the Lord have His perfect work in me, after all, the caterpillar doesn’t HAVE to strive to make anything happen, it does it’s part and the Lord does His; so it was with me.
Not long after I let go, I received a call from a friend asking if I’d consider leading the state of Ohio to Washington, D.C. for a prayer and worship gathering on the National Mall in October. My first response was, “No! I’m on a sabbatical and can’t pick up anything. Call someone else.”
BUT, all of a sudden, I heard that still small voice of the Lord saying to do this, that this was an answer to prayer from nearly 20 years ago. So, I picked up the phone and said, “YES!”
There was a lot of planning but the Lord gave me grace and it was done almost effortlessly, and on October 5, 2017, over 30 people from Wilmington headed to D.C. with hundreds from Ohio and thousands from all over the nation, to pray for our nation on the National Mall.
It was exhilarating as there were 57 tents, one representing each state, one representing Israel, one representing the nations, and the others representing regions of the U.S.; each tent was simultaneously hosting three days of non-stop worship and prayer.
The gathering was Awaken the Dawn and took place October 6-9, 2017; the goal: Making the worth of Jesus known before our nation and asking Him for a Third Great Awakening. It will be happening again this year in each of our state capitals instead of in D.C., and yes, I’ll be helping to lead the Ohio charge again.
I still feel I’m in the cocoon, waiting, keeping my gaze upon the Lord, and staying connected to Him through prayer and worship, yet having CONFIDENCE that He who began a GOOD work in me, WILL be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6)!
I can feel excitement is beginning to build, the changing season is coming to an end and the butterfly WILL be emerging soon. So, be encouraged, pray, wait, stay connected and have confidence that when we emerge we will be beautiful NEW creations; flying at new heights, no longer crawling like caterpillars on the ground…WE WILL be FREE to be ALL that the Lord has created us to be to bring Him Glory!
Robyn Morris is the Director of the Wilmington House of Prayer Community Prayer Room on Main Street.