Dysfunctional Prayer

Looking around, I notice that we are quite the dysfunctional bunch.

It’s 8:10 PM. Kyle is hunched over and smelling the spilled coffee on his knee. Cody is spewing smart theological jargon about his theory for the Atonement. Everyone is cuddling with each other in an effort to fit more people in the multi-faith room than there are seats, and there are about a million and one side conversations going on as we all are about to enter into a time of prayer before our gathering begins.

Well, this is Lighthouse.

I love this group. I knew I’d be a part of it even four years ago, as a senior in high school. As soon as I committed to Puget Sound, I spent hours on the website trying to find clubs and activities centered around my faith. I’m so blessed to have been led here – to this community, to this family, to this network of prayer and support.

This time before Lighthouse that I described above sort of came to be by accident. It started out as an extremely small gathering of just the Lighthouse leadership team (plus or minus those in the band, depending on whether or not they were able to get their act together enough to be on time… so, pretty much never) and has now expanded into something absolutely incredible. Now it’s made up of leadership and non-leadership alike, students, friends, Christians, and those from other (or no) faith traditions. We gather together as a fellowship, no matter our theology or walk of life, and we share life with each other. We bring forth our joys and our struggles, our praises and our concerns. We laugh often, cry occasionally, and we strive to be real and genuine with one another.

As I reflect, lately I’ve been dwelling on a verse from 1 Peter 1:6-7. It reads,

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

I love this verse and I feel it pretty accurately sums up our time together in prayer. It captures the bookends of what any college student may be feeling on any given day… we might be rejoicing, we might feel we are experiencing trials like none other we have ever experienced before, or we might not even be feeling anything at all. Life moves fast in college. It spins out of control at times for each of us in that room. I can’t tell you what I will be praying for next Tuesday, or what will be on anyone else’s heart, for that matter. I can’t necessarily tell you if our community’s prayers from last week will have been answered yet. I can’t tell you if my prayers of rejoicing from this past Tuesday will radically shift into prayers of anguish and heartbreak in a week. What I can tell you, however, is that I see Jesus in this group. I see Him working and His glory is being revealed to me through this community of amazing, talented, passionate people that I call my Lighthouse family and through this time of prayer that we share together each week.