This past Thursday I drove up to the Cane Ridge Meeting House near Paris, Kentucky, for a special prayer service. In the first few years of the 1800s a major revival broke out there. This Second Great Awakening was given considerable attention in the recent PBS special, God In America. The denomination in which I serve, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), arose from what took place at Cane Ridge over two hundred years ago.
I got to Cane Ridge early and walked around the grounds while I waited for the others to get there. In the back of the building I found a bench facing three or four very colorful trees. I sat on that bench and began to pray. Soon a strong wind started to blow and scores of beautiful autumn leaves began to scatter about me. Instead of letting this be a disturbance to my time of prayer I allowed the wind and leaves to help guide me in my prayer.
In both the Old and New Testament the words that are used for wind also mean spirit. In his famous encounter with Nicodemus Jesus drew upon this twin meaning. He said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8)
With the wind blowing and the leaves scattering all about me I asked the Holy Spirit to blow in my life and in the life of my church and denomination. I prayed that just as the leaves allowed the wind to carry them wherever it wished that we would allow Him to move us or take us wherever we needed to be.
I truly believe that this was the prayer that God desired to hear from me at Cane Ridge and I am thankful for the guidance I received from elements of God’s Creation to move me in that direction. Does it surprise me that God used nature to guide my prayer? Not at all. No, not at all.
(I took the images above in the Cane Run Lake area after leaving Cane Ridge on Thursday.)