Thu, April 25, 2024

Faith Friday: Seasoned Saints

Steve Swanson is the former station manager of 88.3 WAFJ radio station in North Augusta.

“God works in mysterious ways.” It’s a phrase that’s been around for a long time. This week, I’d like to introduce you to some folks who take God at his word. When they pray together, they expect to see answers!

It’s Friday afternoon. In a modest house on a quiet street in a Seattle, Washington suburb. Cars slowly pull into a driveway. Each person is coming with intentionality, purpose, and expectation.

This is a group meeting with one focus and one agenda. They’ve been gathering for about 15 years now and are committed to praying and standing together. They believe Jesus’ words when he said, For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20.

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Picture a circle of chairs as I introduce you to this unique group of “Seasoned Saints.” Lloyd and Mary Nell are the oldest in the group- 98 years young. She doesn’t see very well, and he doesn’t hear that well, so they “fill in the blanks” for each other.

Sandy is next. She has a special focus on praying for physical healing. She and John, another member of the group, pray together on the phone each night for an hour or more.

Lois, a former teacher often leads the teaching segment of the gathering using “The Elijah List” as a place to focus the topic for the week.

Kathy will lead the group with several praise choruses. Her husband, John is right by her side.

Charlotte sits in a place of honor, she is 95, and 96 next month. This is her home, and she is the founder of the group. She is also my mother-in-law.

Jane and Karen have begun to take turns in leading the study. Karen was invited to join the group after making connections at a women’s luncheon.

Kay is often a quieter participant but offers much wisdom to the group. She has been joined by Michelle, the group’s newest member.

Dan is a steady influence within the group. As the gathering wraps up each week, he leads communion.

So, what happens when these folks get together? There is obvious joy and a oneness of deep friendship. They open with music and take turns reading from “The Elijah list.” After that, their laser focus is on prayer for the next hour or more. They pray extremely specific prayers for the nation and our nation’s leaders. At times, opening a map of the USA and praying for a specific geographical part of the country. Then, it is a prayer for other specific needs they are aware of with friends and family. About once a month, they will wrap up and linger over a potluck lunch together.

I have been with these seasoned saints on a number of occasions. When I am in their presence, I find myself in awe of the depth of their faith and focus. They REALLY believe God listens, hears, and answers their prayers, when they pray, they pray with power, expectation, and confidence. Bold prayers!

This is a tight-knit group of believers aged 72-98 that have deep relationships with each other. They come together as a family each week. When they are not physically together, they are very active with texting prayer needs with each other throughout the week.

Too often, we overlook the examples and wisdom of our elders. Too often, they are considered out of touch and irrelevant. That is certainly a mistake on our part.

I find myself wondering if there are other groups gathering in fellowship so faithfully like these amazing folks. There must be! These gatherings of faith (regardless of age) make God smile and change the world.

Let us follow the example of these seasoned saints, being intentional about gathering together, praying, and expecting answers to our prayers!

From Hebrews chapter 11: Now, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

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1 comment

  1. Thank you Steve for sharing our story. We are gratefull and continue to pray for you and Susie. His strength is now with you.

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