Pray without Ceasing:
St. Peter's Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Group
The following story comes from Jane Hird, of Del Mar, CA, long time AFP member and supporter.
St. Peter's AFP Prayer Group had its first meeting on September 26, 1984 following a School of Prayer at our Church. It was decided at the end of the event that some of the group would like to continue to meet and form a prayer group. One of the group, Jane Hird, had attended an AFP International Conference in the 70's, which began a long history of association with AFP.
There were other connections with AFP from the onset. Andy, brother of Samuel Shoemaker Johnston and his wife Pam, were part of our group at St. Peter's. This connected us with AFP and with the international work of Helen Shoemaker and Polly Wiley. We wanted to raise some money for AFP, so when we started the prayer group we placed a little collection basket for AFP in the center of the table and since that time have contributed $1000 a year, plus individual gifts to the work of AFP.
Our group consists of 8 to 14 members and ranges in age from the 40's to 94. Some of our members work but manage to get to our group which meets every Wednesday morning at 8:30. A healing service follows in the church at 9:30. Wednesday is our special AFP day.
One Wednesday morning several years ago our Rector sent a young couple to us for prayer. Gary was a lawyer and had a serious health problem which necessitated surgery. He was very afraid and feared for his life. We laid hands on him and prayed before he went in for his surgery. The Lord blessed the doctors and him, and his operation was very successful. Many years later he and his wife still express their gratefulness for the prayers that Gary received that Wednesday morning.
Lucy, our 94 year old member, passed her driver's test after we prayed. We all rejoiced because that enables her to come to church and prayer group and be self sufficient and do her grocery shopping and banking. She continues to live in her home near the church where she has lived the past 40 years.
Next year our prayer group will be 20 year's old. One of our former members, now in her 90's, moved to Wilmington, DE, several years ago. There she has started AFP Prayer groups, and recently suggested that we should have an anniversary party for our group. We have prayed our country through Desert Storm and are praying it through the present crisis with Iraq. One of our member's sons had to go to prison for 7 years. We prayed for him and his family through all those years. He is now out, has finished college, and is married. We have prayed children through school and high school and college. We have prayed them through getting jobs, through marriages, and are now praying for their children, "our" grandchildren. We have prayed them through problems with alcohol and drugs, or being in jail and mental hospitals. Prayer surely draws us closer together and closer to God and we are all most grateful to AFP for playing such an important role in our every day life.