At the same time of transition and prayer, several other key things were happening as well.
As I mentioned previously, my church was going through a very tumultuous time. Our singles ministry took the summer of 2007 and visited each elder and wife in their home and prayed over them. It was awesome in a very holy sense of the word. The Spirit was so moving and the presence tangible. It was one of the first times I felt the power of prayer.
Because of the experience of prayer in this setting, I wanted to learn more about prayer. I started scouring the scriptures. And in case you were wondering, the Bible says a lot about prayer. :)
My prayer life to this point had never been strong. I would classify it somewhere around average, and I believe it was very weak. But to read how all of God's children- especially those who were pursuing the Lord's heart- lived and breathed prayer made me realize that I was missing something great.
Our class at church was studying Acts with the specific perspective of considering it not "The Acts of the Apostles" as it is commonly known, but instead "The Acts of the Holy Spirit". I felt like Paul after his conversion in Acts, when the scales fall from his eyes and he can see again after being blinded. It was like a new Bible with fresh stories. I can't explain this other than through the Spirit, because I had been a diligent student of the Bible all of my life. For goodness sakes, I had a degree in it! ;) (As I re-read this paragraph, I realize just how much I did have in common with Paul [sans persecuting the church])
One story that I remember being especially striking to me at this time was in Acts 12. James had just been killed, Peter is imprisoned and the church is in a time of persecution. The church had gathered at Mary's house to pray, and the Lord intervenes, Peter is freed by an angel, and he shows up at the prayer meeting. But the church is shocked when he shows up.
The church prayed, and it changed things. Not in a psychotherapy, self-help, placebo effect way, but in a real way. And this happens over and over and over in the Bible.
So I kept reading the Bible with these fresh eyes, and the Lord continued to turn my little world upside down.
To be continued. Again. :)