Justine's Journey in Prayer
Like many, I first began to pray in times of challenge, when it was unavoidably apparent that I was not God and not in control. I remember feeling especially alone the day I moved to Vancouver, unsure I had the strength to start in a new city. As I cried out in prayer, Jesus met me in a tangible way, where I felt him calm the storm in my heart.
My journey in prayer continued to be largely about personal needs. In moving to Ottawa for an internship, a woman invited people to join her new prayer group. I showed up because I needed to make new friends. Here I learned to pray by praying with others.
Back on campus in Vancouver, I found myself at more prayer gatherings, even organizing and leading some meetings. I began to feel the discrepancy between my active public prayer life and my more dormant private prayer life. I began to thirst for my inner prayer life to be more vital. My pragmatic nature gravitated to tools and methods to measure my prayer life. Now I see prayer is about the relationship that Jesus wants to have with me, not the rules of prayer or religion.
Along the way, God led me to Grace Vancouver Church when it was just starting out. It spoke a clear message to me that they had prayer groups instead of Bible study groups, and their only course offering was Prayer Training. I could see this was a praying church. I joined the prayer training group, thinking it would improve my personal prayer life, which it definitely did. But it was so much more. My prayers grew beyond my narrow little world as we prayed through Jesus’ priorities and other Biblical patterns of prayer power.
I was excited to pass on my learning to others. So I prayed with friends who were willing, and began tinkering with the materials to share with others. Then John asked me to teach parts of the sessions. Ten years later, I am amazed I am still here by God’s grace, still writing and developing materials and teaching prayer sessions, still journeying deeper in prayer and getting to know God more to trust him as my guide in any stream he leads us down.