Ladies All Night Prayer
By Loretta Lundt
Ideas from Section 1 Wisconsin District, UPCI – Ladies All Night Prayer
Watch out Wisconsin here we come! All I can think of is OH the POWER! What an open door for the Holy Spirit to move in marvelous ways at Ladies’ Retreat this year. It was 7:00 Friday evening, March 7 at Calvary Apostolic in Clintonville. The all night prayer meeting for Section One Ladies was just beginning. Similar events were taking place in each section throughout the state. This meeting replaced the traditional Sectional Ladies’ Luncheon that kicks off the theme for Ladies’ Retreat. This year’s theme is “Leaving a Legacy”.
Each arrival was handed a simple “Prayer Guide” and given a chance to sign up for a reading as she entered. After an hour of worship and praise, the service shifted to forgiveness. Scriptures were read and the ladies were encouraged to think of who they needed to forgive and asked to record their thoughts on a small piece of paper. Each lady pierced here paper with a wood skewer and took it outside to burn in a small fire pit.
After a short break of coffee, tea or cocoa and cheese, sausage and crackers, we were led in confession of sin and, again, after scripture reading and a time of self-directed prayer, we pierced our papers and burned them in the fire.
During the Petition and Intercession time, we made a prayer list as readers read “How to Pray for-” pamphlets by World Network of Prayer. The first hour was spent focused on family members, youth and schools. The second hour was focused on our nation and missionaries. Plaques of foreign and home missionaries were spread around for viewing and praying over. After another twenty minute break the third hour concluded with a focus on each lady’s own church, pastor and family, and church ministries.
From 1:00 until 2:00 a.m. time was spend on meditation with the emphasis placed on Philippians 4:6-9, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The ladies divided into groups and used a scripture puzzle to memorize two of these Bible verses.
There were several excellent testimonies in the next session of Thanksgiving. Ladies shared of healings, lessons learned, and how they have peace in God. There was another break at 3:00 followed by the Praying the Word session. There were many books by Joy Haney on hand for ladies to study and take notes during this time.
The next hour started with a silent march around the sanctuary – seven times. The silence was broken with shouts of praise. The ladies then sang hymns to the Lord. From 5:00 until 6:00 each had her own time of quiet prayer as songs were played in the background. The prayer meeting concluded with worship and everyone linked arms for a final group prayer.
Fifty-three ladies were able to enjoy portions of the prayer time with over twenty who were able to stay the entire night. Thank you to Sis. Rose Soto for following the leading of the lord to have a very successful night of prayer. Who knew it would be such a rewarding and bonding time?
Do you have Eeyores on your staff? In his now-famous retirement speech, Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch encouraged his students to be Tiggers and not Eeyores in life. That’s important-and challenging advice for everyone. Here are steps to help your staff be more joyful.
Step 1: Identify the negativity. Michael Kravitz, author of Managing Negative People (Crisp Learning), describes 14 types of negative employees:
* Locomotives steam roll others. “It’s my way or the highway.”
* Perfectionists can never be satisfied. “It could’ve been better.”
* Resisters love the status quo. “I liked it better the old way.”
* Not-My-job-ers refuse to do anything outside normal responsibilities. “It’s not my job.”
* Rumormongers spread gossip. “Let me tell you what’s really happening.”
* Pessimists expect the worst. “The tunnel will never end.”
* Uncommitteds don’t take their jobs seriously. “It can wait.”
* Criticizers knock down creative ideas. “Your thinking is illogical.”
* Crybabies act like children when they don’t get their way. ”I’m all stressed out.”
* Sacrificers work extra hours but complain the entire time. ‘I’ve given up my entire life for this place and nobody cares.”
* Self-Castigators constantly self-criticize. “It’s my fault. I could’ve done better.”
* Scapegoaters shift blame to others. “I never got that email.”
* Eggshells are very sensitive. “Don’t let me know; I can’t deal with it.”
* Micros focus on the smallest of details or mistakes. “I’m just not comfortable unless I have all the information and details.”
Step 2: Contain the negativity before it spreads. Discuss the behaviors with those involved.
* Acknowledge legitimate reasons for frustration or negativity. People may feel unchallenged, underappreciated, or overworked. They may have anxieties about the future.
* Ask for positive input to remedy the situation when negative conversations come up. Or change the subject if the negativity is simply unproductive.
* Get involved. Negative behavior will not disappear if ignored; more likely it will spread
Step 3: Establish a positive vision.
The good news: Positive behavior is also contagious! Consider Mother Teresa’s wisdom, “One filled with joy preaches without preaching,” and model positive behavior.
* Show confidence in your team and in your church’s leadership.
* Celebrate small victories and give recognition often (strive for a 5-to-1 positive-to-negative ratio).
* Recognize staff in specific terms. Don’t couple positive comments with suggestions for improvement; this devalues the positive recognition.
* Trust and enable your staff whenever you can.
By Joan Raymond
If a colleague seems particularly cynical toward you, consider how your approach to projects may differ from ~ hers, to get a better perspective. Your easy-going style might raise concerns that you’re not serious enough. Or your determined, can-do attitude could signal that you’re missing possible warning signs for failure ahead. Make a point to let your co-workers know you’re open to their insights. If necessary, schedule a one-on-one before the negativity affects others.
This article “Ladies All Night Prayer” by Loretta Lundt is excerpted from, Wisconsin District News, Leadership Peer Networking Conference, Group Publishing, 2007, and the online article, Can’t We All Just Get Along, health.com