For the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about biblical prayer and how it affects our identities as “sent ones”. There are a few basic premises I am taking for granted, so I probably need to briefly throw ’em out here in the open:
1. I believe that THE Church has lost the power it possessed in Acts not just due to a lack of unity, sound doctrine, love,and true heart change, but SOLELY on prayer. All these things fall in place with prayer.
2. I believe we have to do more than critique mistakes of our own,our brothers’ and sister’s, and our predecessors’.
3. I believe the disciples learned to and asked Jesus how to pray to God and we no longer do.
4. I believe as followers of Christ who are making disciples that make disciples the best way to teach others how to teach others to pray is to start being vulnerable and communal.
Thank you God for renewing an urgency in your children and for making it normative to have you be an active part of our conversations.
We should try to have a broad perspective of the narrative of our context, our mission field, whether that’s Chang Mai, Washington, DC, Sudan, Sterlington, LA, or a trailer within the Village of Sterlington. Yes, the work is all God’s but it turns out His chosen instruments are people. We have to listen to know those to whom we are sent.
Prayer as a lifestyle is essential for the listening required to both live out and speak out, “Jesus IS Lord!” Here are a few key insights to help pray and therefore walk, in a manner worthy of the call.
Listen (not just with your ears to people, but to the people groups). This is semi-specific to Northeast Louisianans, but use your deductive reasoning to apply this to your region.
Are your rhythms of life congruent with Christ’s?
Do they reveal a Spirit-led effectiveness or a natural pragmatic thinking with a dash of Jesus flavoring? Remember we are THE salt & light of the world, not that we have a pinch of it ourselves but we actually incarnate this Good News.
So let’s look at a typical day.
- Do we begin in listening:
“Holy Spirit, what are you showing me in your Word today to point me to Christ that I may glorify the Heavenly Father?”
- When you wake up:
Do you begin in prayer for the household of which you are the primary ministers?
- As you leave your home:
First of all, in your vehicle, do you only listen to worship and Christian radio stations? This can be a good thing but in can also begin to build a wall or fence around you. This can lead to a closed off Christian commune lifestyle.
I have noticed that there are times when I am urged to listen to worship and I absolutely HAVE to talk to Him and sing to Him a song. Many times it’s a new song and I have to turn off the music to worship my Father.
Perhaps, it’d be healthy for us to listen to some public radio, some country, some alt. rock, some OMG rap and r&b. Why? This is gonna’ tell you what is lifted up in your communities and nations. These are the idols we will cast down, barriers to the Gospel. This may change our mindset on the styles we play to worship with in our gatherings btw. This is a form of listening we see Jesus doing before the invention of radios, huntin’ clubs, Starbucks, break rooms, Facebook, & newspapers. He was seen at the city gates, in homes, at feasts partaking in life and bringing the best wine to the party! How many times were Jesus’ messages answers?
Does the prayer reflect your geographical journey?
“Holy Spirit, you led Jesus to the well, in the right moment, to a lady who proclaimed you to a whole village. You led Him countless other times to countless other people and He testified of your work in leading Him and the Father’s work in speaking through Him. Do this is me! Now open my ears and spiritual eyes that I may pray your prayer for all of this trailer park, for all of Francis Avenue. (John 17) Delta Terrace is a home for so many many of your children, show them how you’ve adopted them with your perfect love. Continue to pour out your love on Gateway Assembly. Breathe in them this new identity in you. Raise them up as a band of missionaries reaching this city by serving one another and the world. Now God as I step onto this sacred ground, continue to dress me in your full armor and let your light shine in Angus today and until your kingdom come, for yours is the kingdom, power, and glory forever and ever Amen.”