Editor’s Note: Contributor Christine Moughamian is blogging each day of Lent about her progress becoming “one brave Christian.” Follow her experiment on Twitter @1bravechristian.
On Feb. 24, I did a telephone interview with singer and author Stowe Dailey Shockey, whose book “Flying High, A Story of Shared Inspiration,” introduced me to Sam Teague’s program.
Her co-author, Calvin LeHew, was one of the original “Ten Brave Christians” who participated in Sam Teague’s 1965 experiment at John Wesley Presbyterian Church, in Tallahassee, FL.
I first met Stowe in January 2012 at the Seventh Annual Posi Music Festival in Orlando, FL. She was awarded Honorable Mention for the song “The God-shaped Hole” she co-wrote with Karen Taylor-Good. A power-machine on guitar, Stowe had her audience electrified.
Later on, she gave me a copy of her book, then sent me “The John Wesley – Great Experiment” booklet that guided my 31-day practice.
Because of her participation in a prayer group, her “brave Christian” experiment was quite different from mine.
I am grateful to Stowe for her passion, her generosity and for sharing her experience with me.
CM: Stowe, could you tell me what prompted you to try the experiment?
SDS: “For me, it all began after reading the “Ten Brave Christians” book Calvin gave me. My husband Peter is the one who actually had the idea to ask some of our church members to come together as a group.”
CM: In “Flying High,” Calvin said his group kept meeting long after the experiment was over. What happened with your group?
SDS: “We started meeting on Sunday evenings at someone’s house, 10 of us exactly. That was three years ago. We’ve grown close as a group and we still meet regularly.”
CM: How did you proceed with your group?
SDS: “We followed Teague’s practice guidelines at home, then met each Sunday at someone’s home. We talked and prayed for one another. That was the most significant part. From the very beginning, it became obvious that Bible study was less important for our group than talking and sharing.”
CM: Has your format changed over the years?
SDS: “Yes, recently, we’ve been telling our life stories to our group, over two Sundays per person. Initially, my husband Peter would come up with a curriculum but it would always get modified. There were times when we stopped the program to pray for someone in crisis, in a free-flowing kind of prayer. The most powerful prayers bring tears to my eyes.”
CM: Is that what kept your group together, the power in praying together?
SDS: “Yes, when one or more are gathered together because we agreed to it, I believe there is great power. We hold high expectations that our prayers will be answered. We love one another.”
Stowe repeated, with passion, the word “love!”
CM: Did your group experiment bring you closer to God?
SDS: “Yes, being around like-minded people, hearing about their stories, what happens to them… It helps you focus and look up.”
CM: Can you share a story of healing prayers?
SDS: “When I was fighting colon cancer three years ago, I talked about it in our group, and we prayed for my healing. The group would gather around me, put their hands on my head; my shoulders. We were all connected in a circle. A couple of people would raise their hands up to the sky to draw in God’s healing energy. On the “gallery” of my website, www.flyinghighbook.com, there’s a photo of me with our group members reenacting the way we prayed. We prayed for the healing of my soul. When your soul is healed, your body will follow.”
CM: Did you do anything to facilitate this process?
SDS: “I accepted healing. In our prayer group, we allow ourselves to be conduits of God’s love and light. It’s important that you feel you can receive it.”
CM: In closing, is there some advice you’d like to give our readers?
SDS: “We need to develop a sense of gratitude. Like the Coke commercial said in the 1960’s, ‘things are better with it.’ Something beyond randomness way greater than us created this beautiful universe. When you do have a sense of gratitude, the universe is just singing.”