by Chizzy Nwobodo
Sophia is the Greek word for Wisdom, and Propel Sophia seeks out the voices of truly wise women and asks them to share worked examples of how they express faith in daily life. Pull up a chair at Sophia’s table, won’t you? There’s plenty of space.
A few months ago, as I was reading a book on structural engineering, my eyes suddenly began to flood with tears. Initially I was confused: engineering doesn’t usually turn me into an emotional mess. I dried my eyes to continue reading but honestly, it was a waste of time. The tears kept coming.
I suddenly felt led to stop reading and listen to my spirit, and it dawned on me that the heaviness in my heart was a reflection of my Heavenly Father’s heart breaking at the state of affairs in the world. I fell to my knees and prayed, asking God what He would have me do? How can I be a part of the solution as His messenger, His hands and feet on this earth?
A few hours later, I felt a conviction in my spirit to rally friends together to link arms and pray for the nation. In the early hours of the morning, I set up an online prayer meeting via Zoom for the following night and sent it round to friends.
After I hit send, there was no going back. Nervous questions of doubt started to creep into my mind: What if no one shows up? What if lots of people show up and I don’t know what to say or struggle to lead? Did the Lord really want me to set up this prayer meeting? Was this meant to be a one-off or recurring gathering?
The following afternoon, I sat with my Bible open: reading, meditating and soaking up God’s word before meeting my friends to pray. I had no expectations for that night, except that the Spirit of God would be present and move in our midst, and my goodness, the Holy Spirit showed up!
My friends and I went to war in prayer, and I closed us out on my knees with my arms outstretched to Heaven, feeling I was praying out of my mind. A friend shared she’d had a vision of me with outstretched arms, needing someone to come alongside me to help carry the load, similar to Moses in Exodus 17:12-14, where Moses arms grew tired, and Aaron and Hur held up his weary arms until the Israelites defeated the Amalekite army. My friend committed to praying for me there and then: God had not called me to this alone.
I was so fired up after the first night, I started sending out weekly invites to get-together online and pray. What had started out as a first step of obedience on an evening of weeping bloomed into so much more. Our beautifully diverse sweet fellowship meets weekly now, with women from their 20s to their 70s joining in to pray. We spend some time in community, catching up and sharing their praises and prayer requests before we pray. No two gatherings have been the same. We have prayed for nations and people across the world, the church, our leaders, family, friends, health needs, jobs and more.
A few weeks in, I found myself juggling an unexpectedly high number of responsibilities and became bone-tired. I poured out my heart before God, asking Him whether or not to pause our prayer nights for 2-3 weekends? What would He want me to do? I ended my prayer asking for His will to be done.
On our next prayer call, I suggested pausing and was met with deeply convicting responses.
“I usually protest being on Zoom, but these gatherings remain a priority for me. There are many different activities that are far less valuable to eternity that people prioritize. The church needs to wake up. More prayer is needed, not less.”
“Pray unceasingly. One of the gifts from these gatherings is I have seen such an increase and boldness in my prayers... It is something I treasure.”
I believe God spoke to me through my friends to encourage me and help me stay focused on doing this work for His kingdom!
The church is NOT a building, but the body of Christ – YOU and I! This season of doing life virtually / online continues to give evidence of this truth. When two or three gather in his name—even on Zoom—he is right there with us (Matthew 18:20). So we’ll keep meeting in our Zoom room, praying together as we trust God through every season of life.
Chizzy Nwobodo is a Jesus-loving structural engineer who has lived and designed buildings all over the world. She is on a journey of discovery into the fullness of the woman God predestined her to be. You can connect with her on IG at @chizzyb_