In the pre-COVID world, you might find me speaking at at various churches around the world at least once a month. As in-person women’s retreats, conferences, and missions events are being rescheduled, I have dusted off my airline loyalty cards and am back on the road.
Previously, I have posted on some of the ways that I pray for the people responsible for making these events happen, and now my thoughts and prayers turn to those who will be in the audience.
For the woman who couldn’t wait to be there: Especially now, Lord, after a year of isolation that no human should have to bear, thank you that we can be together. Thank you for fellowship, for time in the Word, for refreshment. May you give them hopeful understanding of your Truth and helpful conversation with sisters. Give them assurance where they are weak, courage where fear creeps in, and strength to keep walking in wisdom. Grant that their enthusiasm would be infectious.
For the women who don’t want to be there: Lord, only you know all of the barriers that are distracting some of these ladies. Maybe they came because they know they should or because they don’t want to disappoint someone. Father, give them sweet conversations. Let them take in a deep breath and rest in the kindness of Your work to get them there. As they head home, give them one life-altering understanding of You that will bolster their soul with joy.
For the women who couldn’t come: God, we trust that your purposes are right and good. We rest in your sovereignty. For those who want desperately to be there, Father, please give them reliance on You that sooths their disappointment. Whether they are absent because of illness and loss or work and weariness, may they be assured of Your presence in their absence.
For the young women: God, this world is so broken, and I am burdened for the teens and twenties in the church. Help them to grasp the truth of Your Word and give them courage to live in it daily. Give them wisdom beyond their years and discernment to walk with both certitude and humility. May they learn that their identity in Christ is sure and unshakable in the midst of the cultural tumult.
For the older women: Some of these women, Lord, have walked through an entire lifetime with You. Thank you for the legacies of long obedience. Give them the energy to continue to serve, the grace to reach out to others. May their time at the conference challenge them where they have become complacent. And as they face the inevitable losses of life, would you give them a courageous disposition of reliance on the blessings of Christ Jesus?
For those God is drawing toward redemption: Lord, I am expecting there will be those present who have not yet trusted Jesus’ redemption. Thank you for bringing them to join in the singing and fellowship and teaching. As You work in their heart, may the Holy Spirit show them their utter helplessness in this hopeless world. May the life of Jesus, His cross, and His resurrection become more beautiful to them than anything else this world affords today. Please bring salvation to these women, change their hearts, upend their lives, show Yourself to be mighty to save.
For the woman speaking: Great Father of all mercies. Control my tongue, calm my fears. Stop me from thinking about me. Quicken my mind to remember what I have studied. Stir my heart with affection for Jesus, for the Word, and for the women in front of me. Help me to listen well, to ask good questions, to give good counsel, and in all things, to point to Jesus. Your salvation is the only hope for all the world, and it is the very lifeblood that flows through me. Correct where I am in error and bring clarity when I am confusing. May all I do and write and say be for your Glory because of Jesus.