God came through. No real surprise there, eh?
Part of my nervousness was over the fact that, having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I have problems praying for ten minutes without falling asleep. Heck, I have problems driving for ten minutes! I could not imagine praying for three hours! And, if I fell asleep, I knew that my snoring would drown out everyone.
When I arrived, I found that three circles of chairs had been set up at the front of the group. So, this was going to have a small group component! Interesting ....
I found a seat amongst a group of folks ... some of whom I knew fairly well, a few I sort of knew, and a couple I didn't know at all. We covered a pretty wide range of ages ... from probably late teens or early 20s up into the 70s.
More people arrived, more chairs were brought in, and more circles were formed. We probably ended up with 50+ people there.
The Evening of Prayer was led by Chuck Price. Chuck is an Associate Pastor at our church. I know him fairly well and think very highly of him. I trusted that he would create a situation that was not intimidating but that was very spiritual. He certainly came through on that.
We prayed using the "ACTS" model -- Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Chuck gave us ideas of what to pray for and he led us in prayer and scripture reading. We also had some music and singing off and on.
Chuck would then release us to pray -- sometimes in our large groups, sometimes alone, and once in small groups.
I was inspired by listening to the prayers of others. Over the course of the evening, hearts opened up and deep feelings and thoughts were shared. I had the opportunity to share and pray over some real personal stuff with a couple of other guys.
The three hours went by quickly (actually it wrapped up at about 2.5 hours) and I went home wanting more. I know that God heard our prayers tonight and I am blessed just to have been a part of it. It was a personal first but I hope not a personal last.