We gathered at the beginning of May for our Sisterhood Conference here at Relate Church, and I’m still enjoying the afterglow that comes from a really encouraging, challenging and empowering conversation. There were a few themes that ran through the words that were spoken, and one was the power of our voices as women. In our homes, workplaces, churches and from whatever platform we may have, our engaged voices aren’t only needed but totally imperative. To be clear – the world isn’t necessarily in need of more opinions. There are just so many of those and they’re noisy. There is, however, a need for hard-won wisdom and engaged vulnerability and the power of a life poured out and shared with others. We can all encourage someone. We all have much to give. Someone is behind you on the path, in need of your voice calling them forward.
As we wrapped up our afternoon session on Saturday, our team passed out a gift to each woman – a lovely glass lantern. It went home with everyone as a reminder that we are all here to be light. I had written a commissioning prayer for this moment and read it over those gathered as they prepared to leave. Many of the words are pulled straight out of scripture, a light for our path. I’ll share it with you, and hope that you’ll receive this as my prayer over your life as well. (Yes, you!) You may or may not hear encouragement regularly or ever… You may feel hidden, ignored or powerless. Perhaps you’re tired or overwhelmed or making plans to quit. Maybe you’re just unsure about your path forward. I’m praying that you carry on, and that you speak up. Your voice and your light is essential, and none of us walk alone.
I pray that you would hear and know his voice, and that you'd listen. You’ll lean in and make time and willingly sacrifice to get facetime with our Creator and Caller. I pray that the God-whisper would drown out any doubt or fear, distraction or diversion. I pray that you would long for His direction and His peace above all else. I pray that His light would be your flame, His word a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.
I pray that you would be deeply rooted. That you'd sink your heart and energy into the long-term, perennial, eternal purpose that is your calling and future. You will stand firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss; bearing fruit in every season of your life. Never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous. May you know how wide and deep and good his love is for you, and make yourself at home in it.
I pray that you'd not despise small beginnings or the inevitable ordinary. That you would find joy in little victories, and welcome the adventure of daily surrender. Let your everyday and ordinary life be an offering, a life poured out through sacrifices both small and extravagant. May you know rest and resist striving. I pray that you'd see his glory in the routine of your life and may love be your everyday garment, your motivation and your reward.
I pray that you'd have the courage to continue. I pray that you'll be known for your faithfulness, steady and true. You will stay the course, dust yourself off easily and get back up again when you fail. May your character only grow. May hope anchor your soul. I pray that you wrap yourself in His strength, and carry yourself with confidence.
I pray that you'd go together. May you know and be the church of God's glorious design, encouraging and calling out the gifts in one another. I pray that you would assume the best in each other, challenge and comfort one another and live out Sisterhood as you go.
You are called and commissioned as salt and light, bringing flavour and colour, clarity and hope to your world. You're peacemakers, influencers all, women marked by grace, pushing back darkness and confronting evil with the light of Jesus.
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face and make you prosper.