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It All Started With A Prayer Meeting

December 6, 2023

It all started with a prayer meeting...

In 1844, George Williams and 11 others gathered to pray for the spiritual and practical needs of other young men relocating to London during the Industrial Revolution. They continued to meet for prayer, bible study and outreach— they called this group the Young Men's Christian Association. Some 50 years later, a Young Men’s Prayer Band was formed in Indianapolis where Robert Gilliam and five others prayed for resources to erect the Senate Avenue YMCA. Twelve years later, in 1913, Booker T. Washington spoke at the dedication ceremony of that building.. such is the legacy of our own OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA. Little did they know how those prayers would be answered. Little did they know how a small, simple gathering would grow into a global movement, ultimately touching the lives of communities all around the world -- even cascading to three generations of facilities and families on Indy’s west side. Prayer is powerful. Here are just a few reminders. Personal Connection: Prayer is our way of connecting with God on a personal level. It is an opportunity to open our hearts, express our gratitude, share our joys and sorrows and seek guidance and strength. Through prayer, we grow a deeper, more intimate relationship with our Creator, who loves and cares for us unconditionally. Finding Peace and Strength: Life's challenges can sometimes overwhelm us, leaving us feeling weak and helpless. However, prayer has the power to bring us peace and strength. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." When we bring our burdens to God in prayer, we allow Him to carry our worries and grant us the peace that surpasses all understanding. Prayer brings peace and strengthens our faith. Interceding for Others: Prayer not only benefits us but also allows us to intercede for others. It is a selfless act of love to uplift others in prayer, whether they are facing trials, need healing or require guidance. By interceding on behalf of others, we participate in God's work of bringing comfort, healing and transformation into their lives. Prayer builds community. Like many YMCA centers, our OrthoIndy Foundation Y has a place where guests, members and staff can submit personal prayer requests. In our chapel located near the main entrance, along with an open bible, you’ll find a pen and a prayer notebook in which to record prayers for any of the reasons noted above, even anonymously. Our Y staff members pray over these requests weekly, as do the leaders of One Fellowship Church. This place is so much more than a gym. Our Y has an amazing legacy of actively praying and experiencing answered prayers. Pray on! “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 -OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA Spiritual Emphasis Committee

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