For the last several months, I've been volunteering as a Spanish translator for our church's food pantry.
To be real, my Spanish is below average at best. I'm sure my Puerto Rican aunties are crossing their arms and rolling their eyes in heaven at my words. But God kept putting it on my heart, so here I am, doing my best with my humble Spanish.
Conversations are passable, but praying in Spanish is another story. I would equate it to doing Calculus and cooking dinner at the same time, all while blindfolded. It demands all of my brain to think of prayers first in English and then change them over to Spanish.
Sometimes families that I am praying over in Spanish will pray in their own words alongside me, but way louder. At first, I thought maybe my prayers weren't good enough, or maybe perhaps they liked the sound of their prayers better. Wanting to understand, I took my question to Robert, our Hispanic Ministries pastor, and asked him why people seemed to be praying over top of me.
He smiled broadly and he said, "they are storming the feet of Jesus! This means they are joining you in prayer and going together with you for intercessory prayer. It's like an all-in-prayer rush that you are going after the Father together."
I love that idea so much. In my head, I began to think of it like a "Biblical barnstorm."
Barnstorming was a word from the late 1800s where a community would gather together for a common purpose - sometimes for entertainment, celebrations, baseball games, or important gatherings. They came together wherever they could, even sometimes in local barns - thus the word "barnstorming." Sound familiar? It sounds a bit like a barn from Luke 2, doesn't it?
Lately, life has been placing a lot of difficult situations before me. A friend with a new cancer diagnosis, family that has faced a life-threatening accident, friends enduring soul-crushing drama, and a beloved friend in the church that passed away, leaving her family wrecked for the holidays. All of these are exactly the kind of situations that call for "barnstorm-style prayers." The defining moments that demand all-in mighty prayers on behalf of those we love.
What about you? Maybe you are in need of a barnstorm-style prayer for yourself or for those you love. I find it beautifully fitting that this month reminds us of a barn that began the hope of the world with the birth of Christ.
May we never forget the power of storming the barn in love, for ourselves or others.
Who could use your barn-storm prayers today?