“I so enjoyed brainstorming, imagining, and praying alongside Randy in the weeks and months leading up to the 2022 TrueCity Prayer Room. As a ministry placement student, I always appreciated the hospitality GOHOP staff members would extend in inviting me into their areas of focus, and Randy did (and does!) this so well. I find his creativity in prayer to be contagious, and I saw this on full display during both the planning meetings and the eventual launch of the TrueCity Prayer Room. I specifically remember Randy encouraging me to run with an idea I had for one of the prayer stations, and this was the invitation I needed to realize I could contribute meaningfully to a ministry I didn’t think I was “creative enough” for. I appreciate that Randy recognized, affirmed, and encouraged the stewarding of what I could bring to this prayer room.”
“Randy has been very instrumental in the planning and execution of the last two TrueCity 24/7 Prayer rooms. His creativity and thoughtfulness have enabled us to mobilize prayer when we couldn’t meet together in person (employing online resources and creating a visual prayer-walking guide) in 2021. In 2022, these same gifts were employed to help us come back and pray in a physical prayer room at Wentworth Baptist Church. The prayer room bore his creative stamp (with a prayer labyrinth, 12 stations of the cross) and was the fruit of his collaborative organization. Among other things, the prayer room thoughtfully included a prayer exhibit that resembled a nursing station (created by GOHOP staff, Margie Stuart) and enabled pray-ers to pray for health care workers and for health concerns related to the pandemic.”
Asah: Creativity & Prayer Studio is a really exciting ministry hat that I get to share with Megan Little. “Asah” is the Hebrew word for “to make or bear fruit.” We thought that summed up the practice of combining art and prayer.
Asah workshops happen on the 4th Monday evening of the month at 7pm in the @gohophamont prayer room. Both Megan and I have Fine Art degrees and experiment with art in our own prayer practices. We started Asah because we felt like this was an experiment worth including others in.
We break the night up into two parts:
In our first hour we try out a spiritual practice (or a way of praying) that leans towards creativity.
In our second hour we take an art practice that you might learn in a workshop or at art school and we bend it towards an act of prayer.
The workshops are free but as a GOHOP staff member I raise my own support (think of it as crowd funding). If you would like to contribute to my work at Asah, you can buy some art from my store or make a donation towards my ministry.
“I am grateful to Randy for sharing his art journal on social media, for the value and quality of the works in themselves; but even more for Randy’s vulnerability in sharing his struggles with anxiety through his kindness cartoons. I see so much of my own experience in these cartoons, and they remind me that I am not alone. Thank you so much, Randy, for sharing your talents and your story to bless and edify others.”
Tara Briggs Kirkey
“I have known Randy since highschool. Social media allows me to keep up with the many stages and iterations of old (and getting older) friends. And while I could ramble about the negative aspects of social media, I am writing about Randy and what his positive contributions to social media have meant to me. As someone who suffers with anxiety, social anxiety and depression, I have identified and related to most of Randy’s posts and drawings in the last few years. His art journal has expressed so much of what a lot of people can’t say.
Randy will forever be etched in my mind as the long haired, bearded hippie guy who was always good for some wisdom, some laughs or a hug. And it is good to see he his still out there in another city putting that into the world.”
When we meet with a pastor, we practice something called listening prayer. We take 5 minutes of silence and then humbly shares any prayers, scriptures, feelings, thoughts, or images that we felt God was showing us.
We leave it to the pastor or leader to decide if the listening prayers resonate as something from God. If it resonates, people are welcome to receive it gladly. If it doesn’t resonate (for any reason) the pastor is welcome to say “thanks but no thanks.” Permission to say “no thank you” is what gives us permission to practice listening prayer in a safe and supportive way.
Pastors have a very hard job where most people don’t even see the many demands and pressures that are placed on them. Often pastors are so spent from serving others that they don’t have any energy left to listen for them selves. Week after week I see pastors come in and be really encouraged and blessed by what they receive.
I have had the pleasure to work with lots of great “listeners” as part of the Prayer for Pastors & Leaders team. Douglas Horst is one of those listeners. Here is a little message from Doug,
When Randy is wearing his hat of Coordinating Prayer for Pastors and Leaders, he reaches out to his extensive network of pastors and leaders and actively encourages them to come and experience listening prayer by the GOHOP listening prayer team. As a member of that team, I have experienced his excellent ability to communicate well to us and all the pastors and leaders we pray for. God continues to speak through Randy and us to bless others. Under Randy’s persevering leadership, in the last year we have prayed for more pastors and leaders than in any of the six years that I have been part of this prayer team.