June 28, 2024

Rhonda Patterson
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load."
Galatians 6:1-5

Today’s passage takes me straight to my experiences with the prayer ministry here at Cypress Creek Church. When I first moved to Wimberley and began attending, I was filled with a lot of pain and brokenness, mostly of my own doing. I came on a Monday evening for prayer for the first time, and I’ll admit, I came with some superficial stuff to test the waters. I found safety, compassion, and nonjudgment. The second time (and a few more) coming in for prayer, I decided to go deep. Again, I found Christ’s beautiful, merciful Love reflected through two precious intercessors. Through their help in carrying my burden, encouragement, and Spirit-guided prayers, my relationship with Christ was restored. I joined the prayer team a few years later, over twenty years ago.

I’ve now had the privilege of sitting with countless beloved children of God, watching in wonder as the Holy Spirit meets them in their deepest places of need. The team has been blessed to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who are grieving. We have travailed in prayer for many years at times to see God answer in His beautiful timing. We have held the intimate details of folks’ lives as a sacred privilege between them, us, and God. There is no place for boasting or pride. God’s “Well done” is the greatest blessing of all.

The above passage beautifully encapsulates the essence of the prayer ministry at Cypress. It’s a quiet, behind-the-scenes ministry that touches the hearts of Christ’s beloved. And it’s not the only one. Many other safe places in this church embody the spirit of this passage. You can always find a safe place to seek support and solace in community groups, college or student ministries, through pastors, leaders, or a trusted brother or sister in Christ.

Two things in closing: If you’re hurting, or maybe you have a hidden sin weighing heavily on your heart, please reach out. Find your safe place to open up, be it prayer ministry, a community group, or a faithful brother or sister in Christ. Second, let’s ask ourselves the question that Mary asked on Sunday: “What does Love require of me?” Let’s purpose to be those safe places for the wounded to recover and be restored by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in kindness and humility.