Dancing Prayer? A story from Berlin

Armed with nothing but a borrowed Bluetooth speaker, my phone, and a notebook, I walked into the room I would be teaching in for the first time. To call it a room would be generous. It actually appeared to be the lobby of an old or unused entrance of the church, with big glass doors and a stone floor. It wasn’t ideal, but it would have to work. I put down my few things, tested the speaker, and set out a few chairs along the edges of the room in case anyone would need to sit down. Prep work done, I went upstairs to the main entrance and sanctuary area where the conference would be starting. This was “Eins”.

Eins was an event developed to encourage unity amongst the churches of Berlin and to bring Berlin Christians together to pray for our city. The event would start with a short time of worship and message from a speaker, then everyone would break into groups and go to different “prayer stations”. I had been asked to lead one of these prayer stations as a dance and movement prayer time. I would have 45 minutes to lead a mini-workshop of what movement prayer can be and to help a varied group understand how they can use dance as a prayer language. Oh, and did I mention I had never done something like this before? I had prepped as best I could, but I still had no idea what to expect.

I waited nervously in our space, wondering how many people would turn up. The main sanctuary upstairs had been packed. Literally hundreds of people had shown up and I was struck by the fact that I hadn’t been in a space with this many Christians since graduating from college. It was incredible to see so many Christian turning up for an event like this and to see how many churches were represented, but it also made me even more nervous to lead the dance prayer time. Slowly people started to trickle in until suddenly there were at least twenty people in the room and it was time to begin.

The fastest hour of my life later, I was in an empty room again. I felt almost numb with shock and relief that it was over, but so full of gratitude. I had expected some resistance and tentativeness, but everyone who came jumped right into moving with almost no hesitancy. Every single person seemed receptive and eager to experience this brand-new way to pray. In spite of some difficulties, everything had gone beautifully. I had been able to teach in English and someone jumped in to translate for the ones who had trouble understanding. My Bluetooth speaker gave me an extreme low battery alert at the very beginning of the time, but miraculously stayed playing throughout our time. Most importantly, the presence of the Holy Spirit had been palpable and all twenty or so of those participants left with a totally new and very powerful way to connect with the Lord and pray using their whole bodies.

Overall, the Eins event was incredibly successful and it was amazing to see so many Christians from different churches and denominations all come out for the same event. Personally, it was such a testament to how the Lord works. I had been extremely nervous and uncertain and had no idea what to expect. But as always, the Lord provided. The Lord is so forever gracious to just turn up and work for good. It was a great reminder to me that even when I’m anxious about something or not sure what I’m doing, the Lord always knows and always provides. No matter what, He always loves and wants the best for His children.