“The biggest closet is the church “the old woman told the child. “But we cant go there Grammy ,the doors are locked” the child told the old woman. “I will take you to a secret one “the old woman whispered as they walked down the sidewalk.
Today side by side they walk towards a chapel. It is a very strange day in history when all the churches are closed like vaults because of a virus. Still, the old woman took the child in hope ..in Hope the child might know God.
Fifty years earlier, I was child. I rode my bike many places. It was long before it became common for men and women to abduct and abuse, before it became dangerous to ride without helmets and phones, before bikes had many styles and gears. It was in the days when a red Schwinn bike could take you to the biggest prayer closet in town. And so it took me one day, my first day of worship in a church.
I was very thirsty on my ride and found the park waterfountain out of water . So I thought if the church was open they may have water. I pulled the door open. It was like Alice opening into a wonderland. Suddenly I realized I also might find out about a question I asked my mother the night before. “Who is God?”
A friend , Susan McGahee , talked every day about “God” as if he was someone in her family . She would often introduce me to “God” by referring to him often and saying I needed to meet Him. But everytime I would say ” God” , it felt awkward. I was certain it sounded to her I might not like him. I was somewhat suspicious since my father had told me to not trust people that talked about “God”. And I just wanted to know it wasnt someone she made up in her imagination. Fifty years ago every child had a great imagination. There was no doubt that she or anyone else could have made up a character called “God”.
When I entered that first church, I didnt plan to ask bout “God” but, something about this big closet demanded a either a request or a greeting. For those who knew “God” they might greet him. But I did not know Him so when I saw a box with a labeled “prayer requests” I wrote my request. I had just had the word request in my vocabulary list and knew its definition.
Though I was 10 years old , I felt as big and bold as an adult in a prayer closet . I wrote”Hi Mr. God who are you? Let me know you like my friend Susan” I folded it tightly in a square , slurped from the fountain beside the wooden box , left singing the chorus of a song my mother played “I really wanna know you” from “my sweet lord” by Beatles member George Harrison. This was my first encounter with church and this was my first entrance antiphon.
Entrance antiphons start the mass with an expectancy. An expectancy that we will meet God and he will meet us in our minds and hearts. As the leader anounces “the enterance antiphon”, folks rise, even since the beginning of Christianity, to say a text or verse of the psalm . It’s friends, brothers and sisters , in unison, greeting and asking of God.
Even folks that are not catholic enter their prayer closets with such intention. They want to meet with God. It is the knock on the door of heaven when we say from our hearts “show me your ways oh God” . The enterance antiphon has been the created way of the church since its inception. Not because of mans intent, does the antiphon enter our worship, but because of God’s intent in us. God creates us requesting of Him to show Himself and Him desiring to fulfill our requests by showing Himself to us.
It was for 48 more years that I entered the empty open churches with my own enterance antiphon. Most all my requests were desperate pleas and most all were childlike . And everyone of them , every enterance antiphon ,placed as a prayer request , was answered by the one I first called “Mr God.”
I write this now outside such a church . I write this outside the biggest prayer closet of all… the Catholic Church. I write this now as I watch the old woman and little girl sanitize their hands before going into a chapel, a closet that is always open.A closet that is always open when everywhere is closed. I write this now knowing that forever little girls can ask “Mr God who are you?” and get an answer.
Entrance antiphons were first solidified as part of the mass by Pope Celestine 1 432 . In early time, lines from the psalms of David were to be sung. Presently , mostly psalms are used but, other scriptures from the old testament and sometimes new, are used. It is usually a short sentence that reflects the core message of the mass for the day. For me it sounds as if it is a souls summary of the Lords intentions for the day… but that is only my interpretation. I am after all a closet catholic.
https://youtu.be/8qJTJNfzvr8My Sweet Lord was a song by George Harrison that tried to incorporate Christianity into all religions. A postmodern song with the intent to bring peace among all religions with a sweet chorus ” I really want to know you” that God did indeed use for me. But Jesus would return with His antiphon… no , “I did not come to bring peace but a sword ” “I am the way the truth and the life, no man can come to the father but through me” Matthew 10:34,John 14:6
A TRUE STORY OF THE HEART OF BROTHER ROSO AND WATCHMEN OF PRAYER
“For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes.” So through Him we say our “AMEN” to the GLORY of God.”
2 CORINTHIANS 1:20 AMP
Two of my favorite sounds in Our Father’s house are the sound of brother Roy saying “glory” and the sound of brother Chris saying “amen.” When these two sounds come together it seems as if nothing else needs to be said.
Now I know, there are many sounds in Daddy’s house that speak . Some heard and some not heard. Some are so loud they make stomping feet shake Essie’s china cabinets. Some are so strong they make knees wobble down to the dusty gray floor. Yet, others are so free and light that they simply float through the air brightening every face.
Mostly, every word from heaven flies from Daddy’s office until it lands to perform its work.(1) Like a hundred drifting ballons, words fill the air all the time ready to release a promised word. Hundreds of sounds, waiting everywhere. .But on Sunday they are especially fat and filled and ready to pop.
One “glory ” with one ” amen” seems to seal heavenly deals (2). Right there ,the brother praying and the brother receiving the prayer, hand shake agreement over every spoken promise with Our Father in Heaven. As these hands hold these promises , it is like watching kids hold a three chord strand of a helium balloon. A big holy air filled balloon from Daddy’s office. Sometimes I want to shout What if we all would say “glory” and “amen”? . What if we all let loose a “thy will be done” I bet ,like confetti, promises would burst from balloons from Our Fathers lap?.
I always ask and imagine things like this on Sunday . I use to not ask or imagine at all. I use to just want and hope. I use to want every sound to be real and hope it would come true. But long ago, Our father gave me a pastor, and he said to me ” Sis, if you would just BELIEVE every time you pray you will invite the Glory of God to meet the Amen of God! And you will see miracles” I kinda thought bout things different after that. I started asking and imagining a whole lot more things of God. .And that’s when “glory” and “amen” became my favorite sounds.
So, On Sunday, when brother Roy stood by Brother Chris, I stood near ready to hear a “glory and amen.” I was ready to ask and imagine big things.(3) Brother Roy was asking for prayer from brother Chris because he said the doctor told him he needed a “Watchmen” put in his heart. That , to me, sounded like a big thing to ask and imagine.
See,brother Roy had already told me that the doctor said he had a small extra piece in his heart that was causing him trouble. It was like a little culdesac in the road of vessels in his heart. As blood got caught in this culdesac , it could stir up the blood and make it clumpy blood . Just one little clump in the heart could kill a man. The doctor said he needed to take out that piece that was causing all the trouble so this wouldn’t happen.
“They need to take out that ‘troublemaker’ so that brother Roy’s heart would be all right”I told my stayin prayin sister.
But to take out the troublemaker they had to put in what the doctor folks called a” watchman. ” A Watchmen’ would catch any clot and keep it from hurting our brother Roy. So brother Roy agreed with what the doctor was going to do. And on Sunday, like our the ancient Brother James taught, he asked for prayer so that he would be healed(4)
Our brother Chris said “yes ” to Brother roy’s obedience to Our father in asking for prayer . And when Brother Chris said that he would pray , Brother Roy let out a Big “glory to God!!!”. That’s when everything cranked out heavenly helium. Baloons balloons ballons. Ballons of belief, filled with glory, tied by an amen, let loose through the air. .
But then very suddenly brother Chris stopped and asked “whats that thing they are putting in your heart Brother?”
” A watchman” brother Roy replied. ” Well ” brother Chris stepped back
Then looking at brother Roys chest he said “you already got a watchman and his name is Jesus.”
Then came the “AMEN” and every brother and sister said” amen amen!!!.” .
We all went to our rooms thinking about Our Fathers goodness and the sounds of Jesus. And we all went to our rooms thinking about that certain prayer for Brother Roy .I was believing like the other folks that my brother Roy was already healed . But, I also believed it might be a big deal getting that watchman in Brother Roy’s heart to prove that he was healed. Suddenly I had two minds about this thing. And it made me unsteady (5) .
“I don’t know bout that watchman already being there . . I don’t know that it is already there “ I said to my stayin prayin sister.
” any thing is possible with God ” she replied.” we will just watch and pray”
People who really BELIEVE are “already there” , I thought. Like praying sisters, they are ” are already there.” They actually know bout things long before the rest of us folks do. They just watch and pray. Watch and pray.
Our brother Chris had told us to fast and pray for three days .He kept saying that we needed “to get in our closets”. So I fasted. But it was real hard to stay in a closet to pray . I find closests crowded with brooms and boxes .And , there’s no windows to see what Our Father is saying on the outside. On top of all those problems, there is always someone knocking on the door to tell you something different than what you are hearing. Closets always confused me .But I sure wanted to get rid of my unsteady mind and pray about Brother Roy and the watchman.
“I’m praying for brother Roy and Joanne” my stayin prayin sister said to me.
“So how do you pray?” I asked
“I pray everywhere all the time. I let the Holy Spirit lead. Its like a dance sister . I let him lead so I will agree “his will be done on earth as it is in heaven” she said.(6)
“you pray everywhere?” I asked not paying much attention to the rest of her words
“yes?!!” she said a little irritated that I had not listened to the rest of her sentence.
” Well I gotta go” I said impatiently. I hung up and hurried outside to pray. My new closet was gonna be big enough now to hold the promise I was going to believe ! My closet was gonna be wherever I could run!! .
I wanted to be like brave folks I know in Daddy’s house who pray all the time. I wanted to not just fast but also pray like my stayin prayin sister .
But, lots of things distracted me in my outdoor closet: trees and skies and flowers and bunnies and children and song birds.
I tried to pray but started thinking alot. I was thinking bout my brothers and sisters who pray in closets all the time. They pray mostly when no ones watching .Kinda funny how Our Father calls them ” watchmen”. I think maybe these” Watchmen” aren’t really being watched while they are praying . I think they are watching for what they are praying for. They are watching for it to come alive. They are watching a promise become a real thing.
That is why it is exciting it is to talk to a real watchman cause they have seen a lot in heaven come down to earth. They have really seen alot happen between the “glory “and the “amen.” And they can see ’cause they sit real close to Jesus in their small closets. Its just two of them on a date one saying “glory “and the other “amen “and the Holy Ghost being the matchmaker. They don’t have to wait for Sunday to hear sounds and see ballons.
Outside lots of things got between my saying “glory “and “amen.” First, my heart was troubled by many things. And then , I couldn’t stop thinking bout watchmen. Both kinds of watchmen.: the ones who pray and the one sitting on the shelf waiting to go into Brother Roy’s heart. ” It must be a little thing sitting on a shelf waiting to going to brother Roy’s heart.” I thought. And when I started thinking about how little the watchman for the heart was I started thinking again about watchmen who pray. I started thinking that they’re just little people that sit and wait on the shelf unseen by us. Praying and watching. Little folks looking for things to happen big between the glory and the amen.I thought much more than I ever prayed in my outside closet those three days.
On Wednesday , brother Roy went to the hospital to meet up with the doctor . He told him what needed to be done to keep his heart safe from the troublemaker. When he was signing all of his consents for the doctor , I was thinking about how we consent to God alot when we pray. I was thinking bout how we pray consenting for Our Father to “deliver us from evil”;just like asking Him to keep the troublemaker away.
Brother Chris came again to see brother Roy before he went with the doctor. Brother Chris said “we are going to pray” and brother Roy said ” glory” and it all stirred up heavens office again .Then it all wrapped up with another glory and a great amen And off with the doctor brother Roy went.
A couple hours went by till I could see brother Roy. When I got to him , Sister Joanne and sister Cindy were sitting next to bed. The sisters said that the doctor went in Brother Roy’s heart to look for the troublemaker, “the appendage” he called it. And the doctors said that when they went in the” trouble maker ” well . . .” it was gone!!!.”
“gone , like it never was part of his heart” Joanne said
“don’t know what happened. . maybe . . .this or that” the doctor explained many reasons why it may not be there” Cindy said.
“But Brother Chris told them “cause hes already got a watchman and His name is Jesus” “Joanne rejoiced.
I shook sleeping Roy “say glory Brother Roy, say glory” I shouted
“glory” Brother Roy weakly spoke and faintly smiled squinting his eyes.”Jesus”
That small breath of air, a puff of holy helium, breathed a great ballon in the air. Right in the hospital a balloon of glory lifted high the name “jesus”. Jesus , Jesus , Jeus is what what lives between the glory and amen. . I remembered the soft whispers of Jesus in the room the Sunday before Roy came to the hospital . I remembered Pastor saying Jesus. I remembered the prayin stayin sister saying Jesus. It was Him between the glory and amen.
Jesus, the watchmen of all watchmen . The watchman who prayed outside when I ran from the closet. And the watchman who prayed with Roy and Joanne in their closet. And the watchman who prayed with my stayin prayin sister every day. And the watchman who prayed in the closet of my heart when I thought I had no closet to go to. The watchman The great watchman intereeding for everyone about everything, at the right hand of Our Father. Enthroned between the glory and the amen He watches and prays. And more than that, sitting in the heart of trouble hearted children like me , he says “there is no trouble maker in your heart, the watchmen lives here” .
Suddenly I was able to say to brother Roy “amen”. “glory and amen” “glory and amen”
“we will say it very loud on Sunday Brother Roy. ..maybe we will have a party” I said, imagining a room full of ballons.
“yes” Brother Roy smiled and returned to rest.
I walked away resting too. Resting in the Lord of the Amen and the King of the Glory.
Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me ” you have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it” and 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. that is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.
There are over 60 verses in Our Fathers word to us with Glory and Amen joined together. One of the oldest is from 1 Chronicles 16:35 -36 where David prayed “Save us O God of our salvation and gather and deliver us from among the nations , that we may give thanks to your holy name and GLORY in your praise from everlasting to everlasting.
Ephesians 3:19-20 Paul prays that we “may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpass knowledge that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly that all that we ASK OR THINK, (IMAGINE) according o the power at work within us.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of Jesus.
James 1:5-8 But let him ask in faith wit no doubting for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord: He is a double minded man unstable in all his ways
Staying Praying Sister: We do not manipulate Our Father. We are not begging Him we are agreeing with Him. We do not manipulate Our father we are the ones manipulated in prayer ,by our father . We are manipulated in love to agree with him