by Janet Sketchley
Each year I attend Write! Canada, I start the conference with a headache. I blame it on the flight, lack of sleep, or an unfamiliar bed. A couple of painkillers later, and it’s gone.
Except for this year. Pills with breakfast didn’t work for long.
I’m Prayer Team Lead for The Word Guild. My main role for Write! Canada is to recruit other prayer volunteers and to be available to pray with people when and as needed.
Some of my best memories from the past few conferences are of those impromptu prayer connections. (Yes, the food, fellowship and professional development are excellent too.)
It’s one thing to pray for someone else. Quite another to ask for prayer. To confess a need.
Some time during that first day, I found myself in the bookstore talking with a couple of other attendees. Maybe one of them said I didn’t look so well. Or maybe she just asked how I was enjoying the conference so far.
I started to say everything was fine, then stopped. Asked for prayer. My head pounded even harder from the tension of admitting the need.
Bless their hearts, Judy and Ann prayed with me in a little huddle right there among the books and shoppers.
With tears in my eyes—gratitude and pain—I thanked them and went in search of Jan. She’s one of the Prayer Team Assistant Leads, a powerful intercessor and the owner of the Under the Cover of Prayer blog. More to the point, my drugs were locked inside her cabin.
Jan’s prayers joined the others’ and the pain only got worse. I swallowed a second dose of painkillers, hoping for a temporary reprieve.
Somewhere between the prayers and the next conference session, I thought I sensed God saying the pain wouldn’t bother me anymore.
It still hurt like crazy, but I decided to believe Him. I told Jan what I thought He’d said and that I wasn’t really sure about it.
By the time we walked into that next session, the pain had almost gone. Every time I felt its grip, I’d remind myself that it wasn’t going to bother me anymore. Then I’d think about something else.
I hadn’t been sure God spoke at all. Nor if He had, how long He’d meant. Long enough for the appointments I had that day? For the panel I was on?
That was back in June. The other day the pain came at me again. It swamped me for a few minutes, and then I looked at my husband and reminded myself aloud, “This isn’t going to bother me anymore.” I gave the spot a gentle rub and promised to hit the medicine cabinet if the pain didn’t go.
I don’t know how long “anymore” is. But I intend to enjoy it. Caught myself wishing in prayer this morning that God had said something about that ache in my hip....
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.