Yesterday, I sat with four other people in our sanctuary at MCC Richmond for almost an hour, praying. I did the same thing the week before (with some of the same people and some different ones).

Based on my experience, I plan to spend my Wednesday noons praying as I did with them. The power we shared was real. It changed me.

I sometimes forget how powerful prayer can be, especially when it is shared. But these past two Wednesdays have made that power very real.

We prayed for the world, for our nation, for our state, for our metropolitan city, for our church, for ourselves, for others in need. We used printed prayers, and prayer request lists, and we also spoke from our own need and hearts.

The words are important, but equally so is the silence between them. The silence allows us to hear God, just as we hear each other. And even when we are not silent, there is something healing about the quiet of the sanctuary around us.

One thing is clear to me: when we gather in the quiet of the sanctuary, with the intention to be in conversation with God and each other, we are healed, and we help with the healing of the world.