We all carry around the cares and burdens, not only of our own lives but also of the people we love. Karmyn Garcia was feeling the heaviness of situations in her life and in the world when she felt the Lord showing her what to do with it. “I felt this nudge from the Holy Spirit to say to the girl next to me: ‘Hey, do you want to pray with me? Do you want to form a group just to pray?’” Within twenty-four hours Karmyn had asked six women—three Protestant and three Catholic—to join her in a monthly group to pray. Their response was overwhelmingly positive: “It was like I had offered somebody in the desert a cool drink of water.”
“As women, we have that gift of receptivity where we receive and receive and receive but then our hearts become overloaded! So, once a month to be able to dump all of it at the foot of the Cross and say, ‘It’s yours, I give it up,’ and surrender all of that to Jesus—we need that.”
Many years after that first nudge to invite another woman to pray with her, Karmyn is coordinating a moms’ group that gathers to break open the Scriptures through lectio divina, discussion, and—of course—prayer.
God has helped me help others get more comfortable with praying together out loud. There’s something really powerful that happens when we pray as a group of women. As I tell the women, if we pray by ourselves it’s like we’re shining a little flashlight to heaven, but when we’re together it’s like this huge spotlight shooting our prayers heavenward.
The group has grown over the years to include moms of many different ages, even “grandmoms.” “Some women who come are into all sorts of things, real seekers, and you can just see Jesus pulling them in. I mean, wow!” Karmyn is pleased to see subsets of women connect over their shared experiences, whether it’s parenting solo as single or military moms or dealing with a new identity as mothers-in-law and grandmothers. “When they’re able to connect on a spiritual level with someone who is going through the same thing they are, there is a level of healing there, a level of feeling understood.” This shared experience allows them to pray together in deeper ways. “One woman will pray over another, and it’s so beautiful because you can tell there’s this connection.”
Not everyone says yes to Karmyn’s invitations to the group. Sometimes women are looking for something different like a social group. But for those who respond, the experience grounds their lives with God. They discover how to rely on the Holy Spirit and witness the power of prayer. “I’ve seen God working in their lives, and it’s so inspiring and motivating to keep praying. It deepens your faith.”
In the midst of life’s challenges and cares, these women have found a place where they can lay down their burdens, sharing them with one another and entrusting them to Jesus. “Sometimes women come looking for a playdate and such,” Karmyn says, “but this is more. It’s a spiritual salve.”
Karmyn’s responsiveness to that nudge from the Holy Spirit created a place of spiritual refreshment where many women have found healing and hope. Though our lives and situations may be different than hers, we can listen and respond to the same Holy Spirit, who nudges us, too.