Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Seeds of Movement

A while ago, Bethany and I spent some time away on a spiritual retreat. We were so blessed to have some focused time on prayer and hearing from the Lord. We sang together, read scripture, and enjoyed the time of communion with Christ amidst all of the craziness of this adventure.

A friend in Connecticut lent us their vacation home that was near the campus of Williams College in Massachusetts.  Because I am from the Midwest, this was my first exposure to this area of Mass. I had never heard of Williams College, which is the top liberal arts college in the country.

As we wandered across the campus of this prestigious school, we stumbled upon this monument commemorating a prayer meeting in 1806 . After reading it, I remembered the stories from my missions classes and realized we were standing near a piece of missions history.

In 1806, five men met in a meadow near Williams College to pray about and discuss the need for missionaries to travel to other lands and preach the gospel to those that had never heard it. In the middle of their discussion, a thunderstorm popped up and so they all hid under a haystack to continue their talking and prayer. They began a group called the Haystack prayer group that a few years later began the first American missions sending board.

Our first thought through all this was just how amazing it was to be in the place that has shaped so much of American missions. This was the beginning place for so many changed lives. This is where men and women stepped out in faith to follow where God led. 

We also loved being in this place, because it reinforces the need for prayer. We know from history how many Christian movements have started in prayer and yet the church doesn't spend nearly enough time on our knees together before God seeking direction and the movement of his Spirit. We pray that God would continue to birth movements of his people out of prayer and seeking his name.