We were newlyweds, and as a newcomer to the church my husband was already attending, I was encouraged to postpone volunteering in any capacity for three months. As I waited and got acquainted with my community, I assumed I’d serve as a vocalist. After all, throughout my churched life, I’d always found my place in the choir and praise team. The pastor even assured my husband that I’d have a much coveted spot on the praise team once the three months was up.
But during my three months of sitting quietly, I kept hearing Holy Spirit say one thing: prayer team!
What’s a prayer team? I wondered. I knew what prayer was, but I had never heard of a prayer team. I tried to imagine what it might look like and what it did. Was it like a football team or maybe a dance team? I honestly had no idea what a prayer team was, but I was certain I was to be a part of it.
Nervously, I turned to my husband to share my thoughts and reluctantly pushed the words through my lips, “I want to be on the prayer team.” I could tell he was thrown off. I had deviated from the expectation that I’d want to be on the praise team, and now we sat in awkward silence. To break the tension, I asked him if the church had a prayer team, and he led the way for us to find out.
An administrator for the church confirmed that there indeed was a prayer team, but before we could ask her any further questions, she said, “But you can’t simply join the prayer team — you must be invited!” She ripped the corner from a piece of paper, wrote a name and phone number on it, and passed it to me. “Here’s Ms. Pat’s number. She leads the prayer team. Perhaps you can ask her about the process for being on the team,” she offered.
At that point, learning that joining the prayer team required an invitation left me feeling confused and misdirected. Inwardly, I shrugged it off with “Oh well God, I tried!” My husband and I thanked the administrator and walked away, down the corridor toward the exit. Suddenly, a woman walking from the opposite direction stepped into our path and stopped us. She greeted us with a wide smile, extended open arms, and a voice overflowing with joy and the certainty of God’s embrace. I had never met her, but in that moment, I felt as though we knew each other.
“Hi! I’m Ms. Pat!,” she exclaimed. She focused her gaze on me and with confidence and certainty announced, “God told me that you are going to be on my prayer team!”
Overwhelmed, I exhaled a chuckle and showed Ms. Pat her name and number on the piece of paper I’d just been handed moments before. She let out an encouraging laugh and proceeded to instruct me on where and when to join the prayer team. I was in awe of her audacity. Though still unclear about what I was being invited to join, I was certain that she had welcomed me to my new home.
Whenever I feel disoriented or unsettled by circumstances, I reflect on this chapter of my life. While on the prayer team, I not only experienced immeasurable growth, but I also saw how God meticulously repositioned me in order to more fully live into my purpose.
Repositioning isn’t like relocating or getting a promotion. It invites us to experience a significant shift — one in which we ultimately alter how we perceive ourselves. I learned that repositioning isn’t always obvious or comfortable, nor is the path obvious or logical. And because the process is dynamic and complex, repositioning can be disconcerting.
In marriage, I was uprooted. I remember feeling dislodged, knocked from my path of assurance. As a newcomer to a church, I was forced to pause, and in that stillness, I was given instructions that seemed unconventional. I was fearful of the unfamiliar. But by faith, I moved forward. And in grace, I was embraced by the assurance and belonging of purpose.
Perhaps during the pandemic, you’ve felt uprooted or detached from your “normal.” Or maybe you feel disoriented by constantly shifting circumstances. Perhaps, like me, you are desperate for the familiarity of a daily and weekly rhythm. Or maybe the thought of moving forward into an unknown future feels more intimidating than a forced pause. Consider that you are being invited to divinely reposition yourself.
Think of Abraham, whose move uprooted him from his family home and repositioned him in order to become Father of a nation (Genesis 12:1-9). And consider Joseph, who was sold into slavery and was promoted second-in-command to Pharoah in order to save nations (Genesis 37-41). Repositioning invites you to participate in unfamiliar, uncommon, and sometimes awkward movements to expand you into purpose.
Though you may feel uncertain, I pray you move forward, confidently knowing that God is with you every step of the unconventional way.Leave a Comment