It was an evening of prayer that was about to make it all change. I guess I've used that phrase too much already. I'm hoping to convey just how momentous this was (I don't even know how to spell it...). I expect you've got the message, so I'll stop now with the drama.
That was the first time I really felt the true impact of prayer. Before, it had always seemed like we were talking to an empty sky. To be sure, I'd seen its effect before, but I personally had never felt anything.
They were asking people to stand up for prayer. Only one person stood up to 'become a Christian', but we all cheered, and she went bright red. Literally, everyone in the room was clapping her and hooting. I feel sorry for her in a way, but I would have liked such an epic welcome to my faith.
One of the things they said was this. "Stand up if there's an authority in your life that hurts. Maybe you can't stop looking at that website, and those videos. Maybe it's even drugs, or perhaps it's alcohol. Perhaps there's something that you can't escape its grasp. Maybe it's a feeling." They paused. "Something that you're addicted to, or caught up in. If that's you, stand up. You don't have to tell us what it is, but we want to pray for you."
What shocked me was that Bekah stood up.
She did. That's what killed me. I hated that she had been hurting - that something had been keeping her like that. I hadn't knowing about it, and I hadn't been there to help her through the hard times. Maybe that wasn't my fault, but it still cut me up inside. Something inside was "tearing her apart" - Bekah's words - and I had been oblivious.
That was the first thing which screwed my mind.
So I prayed for her. I had one hand on her shoulder and one hand on the shoulder of a girl called Helen. Bekah and I had become quite close friends with Helen and her sister Rachel. They were friendly and kind, and we welcomed their friendship.
I prayed, and as I did so I realised just how vulnerable they both looked. Bekah, shorter than me though she's older, and Helen, who was about a head taller than both of us. But they were bowing their heads. Helen was about to cry. Bekah just looked so brave - and yet they were both broken people. That really hurt. That really screwed my brain.
It was as I prayed then that I felt the first tinglings of the real impact of prayer, but it grew a few moments later ...