church, church family, faith, God's presence, memories, power, prayer, Purpose, trust
Yesterday, in our Sunday morning message, Pastor Tom Lindberg promised four things from First Assembly Memphis. He said:
- We will help you focus on God.
- We will help you fortify your faith.
- We will help you face life’s problems.
- We will help you fulfill your purpose for living.
I would add yet another benefit. First Assembly will pray for you, over you, and teach you more about prayer than perhaps you’ve ever known. At least that has been the case for me and I have 70 plus years of experience.
I joined First Assembly Memphis in 2008. During these eight years, I have been prayed over more than all my time in other churches combined. That is not in any way meant to be a criticism of other churches. I have learned, grown, and received from every church on my life’s journey. I have needed each church at particular times in my life. But at First Assembly, there is attention to prayer like none I’ve known before.
It began for me in 2004. In deep heartache over my daughter’s declining health, I needed a pastor to pray with me. I needed someone that believed God still wants to heal today like He did when Jesus walked this earth, for that is my belief. I knew no one at First Assembly, but I felt that was the church I should call and ask for a meeting with any available pastor. I was immediately granted time with the senior pastor, Dr. Lindberg. He, in fact, got on the phone and encouraged me to “come right on.” Of all the times people have prayed for me, perhaps this time stands out most. My daughter has not yet received the healing we prayed for that day, but I knew the presence of the Holy Spirit in an extraordinary way that afternoon. As Pastor Lindberg prayed, the Holy Spirit came strong into the room, surrounding and embracing me.
I began visiting First Assembly and made many trips down the church aisle for prayer and I met God at that altar every time. One Sunday morning at the altar, I asked a man I recognized as sitting near me to pray and he quickly did. I thought he was one of the church leaders Pastor Lindberg had called to the front to pray with those who needed prayer, but he had gone there for prayer himself. Such was the makeup of the church. Everyone seemed to know how to pray fervently and without hesitation.
I joined First Assembly in 2008. Immediately, I found my way to the Hour of Power, a Tuesday morning prayer group for ladies. The very first time I attended, the leader asked if she could pray over me. She came and knelt before me and prayed for me and my leadership in the church. I was nothing short of amazed since she didn’t know me, just said she felt led to pray as she did. Over the past eight years, these faith-filled ladies have prayed me through illness and heartache; I can’t imagine my life without them.
I’ve known many different hands on my shoulders as prayers have been spoken on my behalf–and it would be no different for you. If you mention to anyone at First Assembly that you need prayer, in all likelihood you will receive prayer right then and it will be a prayer that blesses you.
Churches can have different strengths. A church near us has an outreach to the Memphis community and communities beyond that is extensive at the time of disaster. I have known them to house and care for people in their church building when they have lost their homes. They shelter, clothe and feed them.
God has anointed First Assembly Memphis to be a praying body of people who believes God is still in the miracle-working business. If you want a church that is mighty in prayer, then we may be your church. Learn more about First Assembly and how to find us at http://www.famemphis.net.
Sue Tornai Loeffler said:
I agree prayer is a powerful benefit we often overlook. Sometimes I don’t know how to pray, but in my anxiety I breathe the name of Jesus and His comfort is immediate. He is faithful to those who love Him.
Pat Luffman Rowland said:
Thank you for reading and commenting, Sue. I agree That all we need do is breathe His name. He knows our every need.
I know different churches probably feel different callings. However, I believe all the church is called to prayer, according to the bible. We can be Spirit filled all day every day, but if you never call on Him, (except maybe in a crisis) what good does it do? Some churches have the “obligatory prayer” at the beginning of each service and committee meeting. They have lost the passion and deep belief in prayer. Not meaning to criticize. I am praying that God will call all the church to cry out to Him. Jim Cymbala will tell you quickly that programs, plans, even preaching, did not build Brooklyn Tab, only prayer did!!! In the meanwhile, you are very blessed!
Pat, that sounds wonderful. What a church community should be like.
Pat Luffman Rowland said:
I agree, Zillah. I am grateful every day that God directed me to First Assembly.