In a new leadership role as Deacon Moderator, Vance Shull was feeling the heavy weight of responsibility. He wanted to serve HP Pres well—this family meant so much to him considering they had been a sanctuary when tragedy struck his life years before. He was delighted to be trusted as the voice of the deacon ministry, but anxieties ran through his mind with the fear of letting people down.
Vance decided to join the Prayer Cohort, a monthly class meant to deepen intimacy with God through learning more about what and how to pray. One particular class was about the prayer practice of laying hands. After learning all about it from their expert teacher, the class was encouraged to break out into groups and put it into action. Awkwardly buddying up in a group of three, Vance was a little nervous. This was a new territory for him, but he went ahead and asked for prayer for his heightened anxiety as Deacon Moderator. Two men put their hands on each arm and began to pray. As soon as they said the words, “in the name of Jesus,” Vance was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit. His legs shook unexpectedly, and he could feel more hands on his back than just the two men present.
“I immediately felt a relief that the responsibility of not messing up was not on me,” Vance described. Within that moment, his heart shifted from anxious and pressured to empowered to take on the difficult tasks ahead. He was reminded that God is the one in authority and the one in control. Since then, Vance’s prayer life has continued to transform.
Vance finds solace in Psalm 51:17—“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” As he continuously offers this sacrifice, Vance is free from the expectation of perfection and confident in where God is leading him.
Check out our summer prayer guide, 90 Days of Prayer, on the Bible App for guided questions to deepen your prayer life.