by Beth Jones
Did you get a chance to look at the prayer vigil during Pilgrimage weekend? Did you find yourself standing in front of that large sheet of poster board in Heritage, reading through the list of names, looking at the clock to see who was currently praying—praying for your fellow Pilgrims, for your small group, for you personally?
Perhaps you saw a familiar name, someone you know, someone who has been an encouragement to you throughout your journey. Wow. Someone who knows me cares enough about me and my relationship with God to take time out of their weekend to pray for me by name.
Perhaps you saw an unfamiliar name, someone you don’t know, someone you may possibly never meet. Wow. Someone who doesn’t even know me cares enough about me and my relationship with God to take time out of their weekend to pray for me by name.
Did you feel it? When you lay in your bunk on Friday night in silence, wondering if you would ever fall asleep, someone was praying for you by name. When you opened letters of affirmation (and packages of tissues), someone was praying for you by name. When you tore the sandpaper off your wrist and nailed your obstacle—your burden—to the cross, someone was praying for you by name. And when you walked down the candlelit path lined with angels, when you received the bread and the cup, when you communed with God in the prayer chapel? Someone was praying for you by name.
Did you feel it, friends? Would you believe me if I said that it didn’t start there? The moment you dropped your registration in the mail or clicked submit online, people began praying for you by name. People who didn’t know you, people who had no idea what challenges you faced in the weeks leading up to Pilgrimage—they came before the Father on your behalf, asking Him to begin working in you before you even drove through the gates of Camp Bethel, asking the Spirit to move through you and give you just what you needed to hear.
Won’t He do it?!
Pilgrimage is utterly soaked in prayer, and if you were blessed at all by the talks or the worship, the music or the small groups, know that you were blessed by a God who heard every one of those prayers—prayers poured out for you by name.
As we approach the end of these devotions this week, I encourage you to continue to pray for one another, for your small group members, for your Christian community. I encourage you to continue to pray about where the Lord is leading you to serve. And in ten months or so, when you receive an email asking if you’d be willing to take a time slot on the prayer vigil for Pilgrimage 2020, I encourage you to say yes—yes to praying for the next group of Pilgrims by name.