I have always found the Bible verse that reads, “for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them,” (Matthew 18:20) a little unsettling. Sure, this is an encouraging verse that speaks to the presence of the Holy Spirit when a community of believers prays together. Why, though, isn’t God present when I pray on my own? As I have grown, I have realized that my initial instinct completely missed the boat. Surely God is present and close to anyone who calls out to Him in prayer; that is a Biblical truth in itself. However, I am coming to find there is something uniquely special that takes place when two or more gather together in His name.
This past Tuesday night, after Lighthouse Unplugged, a few friends and I went back to my residence hall and attempted to cram the seven of us into my tiny, closet-sized room. We carried the night’s conversation from Unplugged back with us. Eventually the conversation turned into an awesome discussion about our own walks with the Lord. We shared stories, reflected, laughed a lot, and even cried together. As the night concluded and people had to start heading out, someone suggested that we end in prayer. The seven of us each went around the room and asked for prayer in various areas of our lives. We took turns praying for one another, lifting each person up individually, by name. It was an incredibly powerful experience; I truly felt as if the Spirit of God was right there with us. When we said, “Amen,” someone exclaimed, “Whoa, we’ve been praying solid for twenty minutes.” Now, I have never felt as if I am a strong pray-er, in the sense that normally I find it difficult to sit still and pray for period of time without my mind drifting or without feeling the need to talk. But those twenty minutes felt more like five, and I did not want to stop sitting in the presence of God, praying in fellowship with others.
One of the greatest joys of my college career is the family that I have found, specifically through Lighthouse, with whom I can continuously be in fellowship. This idea of Christian “fellowship” is a Biblical one. 1 Corinthians 1:9 states, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.” This Biblical principal of fellowship extends much further than mere friendship. On Tuesday night, the group with whom I had gathered in my room consisted of some friends that I had known for years, but also included someone I had not known prior to earlier that night. I am convinced that fellowship does not depend on the depth of the friendships present, but rather on the idea that everyone is in relationship with one another, united by some common purpose. That purpose could be to pray together, or it could simply be to engage in open and honest dialogue, such as what we had experienced earlier that night and what we strive for each month at Unplugged. I am also convinced that fellowship can occur anywhere – from a cathedral to a chapel basement, from a manger to a tiny, closet-sized dorm room.
We are “Lighthouse Christian Fellowship,” so apparently someone, somewhere down the line must have recognized the importance of this principle. The book of Acts even acknowledges that fellowship was one of the four tenants to which the early church devoted itself. I am thoroughly enjoying having the chance to learn what it means to be in fellowship with others and I look forward to more experiences like the one that I was a part of on Tuesday night. God moves in and through the fellowship of one another, and I am thankful for the many ways He is touching my life through the context of the incredible family that I have found within Lighthouse.
If you would like to talk to Chloe about this or anything else, please join her at her next cafe hour in Diversions, Tuesday April 10th, 12:30-1:30.