From His Heart – Northern Virginia Prayer and Worship Gathering
Monthly meeting contact Deborah Kendrick at: Jerusalempaintings@gmail.com
Every month for over ten years, we have gathered in a retreat house a little over an hour outside of our nation’s capitol. Desiring to share in a greater intimacy with the Lord, we purposed to set our hearts in one accord. We left our personal needs and prayer requests at the door and we came in to seek His Presence to know what was on His Heart. No one of us had ever done this in a prayer gathering before. How we came to do this, I will try to explain briefly.
At this point, it is necessary for me to tell about the “French Connection.” In March of 2000, I was teaching a one week seminar in France on prophecy. At the end of the conference, a woman came and asked me if I would come and help her in her church. I imagined a little church somewhere near the Alps, very remote. Because Jesus is always looking for the hidden places to reveal Himself, I told her I would be very happy to come. I had no idea that her church was the Catholic Church. Later that year, she organized a gathering with a Catholic priest and myself in Geneva, of all places, where the Church had separated.
Father Roger Paulin and I have shared numerous gatherings since that time, as well as with many other priests in France, Belgium, Italy, Malta, Mexico and the Caribbean. We immediately observed that what we experienced in the Lord’s Presence when we came together was greater than when we were apart. Out of that first gathering in Geneva came a movement of Unity in France that exploded and continues to spread.
I invited a dear friend, Nancy Daugherty, to come with me to France and experience the dimension or worship and love for the Lord in unity that seemed to open Heaven there. Later we would jokingly say I had ruined her life. She tasted something that captured her heart.
During the same time, the Lord had spoken to me prophetically: “France has a debt to pay to America because during two wars we sent our young men to them and tens of thousands never returned. I will raise up the sons and daughters of France and send them to America with the sounds of worship and the sounds of glory to open the hearts of the American people.”
In a Monday night gathering of 400 mostly young people in a Church in Paris, I met a young man who was Catholic leading worship, Benoit Meyrieux. Eventually I invited him to come and minister with me in America in fulfillment of this prophetic word. I wanted to import that sound of worship and unity to America. Around the same time, Nancy opened her home, invited her friends and us to gather in this divine experiment. I took Benoit there to sing and impart that dimension in unity. In the beginning someone asked me what kind of prayer meeting it was all I could say was, “I think I am teaching contemplative prayer to Protestants.”
Our prayer group is a microcosm of His Body, with Evangelicals, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Protestants, Catholics and even Orthodox (in fact we have an Orthodox Bishop who comes regularly). We stumbled into a format that has blessed us every time, and even more importantly, enabled us to bless Him. (This is explained in the writing “Teach Us to Pray.”) Jesus has imparted many truths to us during these hours in His Presence. For the last six years, we have both recorded and written notes from the gatherings.
If you live in the area or find yourself in Northern Virginia and would like to attend, please contact me.
TEACH US TO PRAY
©”Young Woman in Prayer” by William Kendrick. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Every month we travel two hours to lead a prayer gathering in Northern Virginia. When we began meeting ten years ago, I encouraged everyone to take a bold step and leave their prayer lists at the door. Instead of coming together to pray for our own needs and concerns, we would empty ourselves and seek to hear from God to know what was on His heart.
Opening in prayer, we asked God to lead us in the ways of His Heart. We slipped into a format that has worked for us. It helps that we had a musician who desired to flow with Holy Spirit and could sing spontaneously. Benoit sings from his heart either songs that he has previously composed or that which comes afresh. There are no song sheets to follow. We keep it very simple. Some join in; others just rest and receive. All are captured in those moments of light and adoration as a love song to Jesus is sung. We then sit in silence. When ten or twelve minutes have passed, I would break the silence and ask if anyone would like to share what has come to them during this time. What proceeded to unfold so amazed us. Each of us had “a piece of the puzzle” of what Jesus spoke to us from His Heart for that moment in time.
He told us that our presence was our gift to Him. We were so very humbled that our coming together brought joy to the Heart of God. Often we were stunned by His amazing mercy and heart to touch the world with His love. His perspective was different from ours, and He wanted us to understand how to pray. We were really like toddlers, all learning to walk at the same time. No two gatherings were ever the same and yet we followed the same path in what became our own monthly pilgrimage, walking together.
Here are some of our discoveries:
God is waiting for us. With lives that are given, places that are set aside and time that is designated, we offer Him a resting place for His Presence. Jesus invites us to share this with Him.
The Presence of God dwells in His people. He is with us all the time. We increase our sensitivity and perception to His Presence in our willingness to be still. Sitting in silence, we learn to listen for His Voice. When we close our natural eyes, He can open the eyes of our heart.
Our prayers become simple. Lord, teach us to pray. . . . come Lord Jesus. . . . let Your Kingdom come . . . on earth as it is in Heaven. . . . show us Your Glory.
The prayers we did not pray were also answered. Truly, Jesus promised that if we would seek Him and His Kingdom first, all the other things would be added to us. We did not know it at the time, but the Holy Spirit was digging a deep well in each of our lives, making our familiar refrain, “Jesus, I trust You.”
Dearest Jesus, as John laid his head upon your chest, we come to rest on you. Our ears are listening to hear Your Heart. Help us to be still with you and move when You move. Grace us that Your heartbeat may become the rhythm of our life. Amen
By Deborah Kendrick