Skip to main content

The Simple Invitation to Prayer

"What has helped me?"

Our commitment as a church is to advance the Gospel as a Kingdom family. As we drill down on advancing through small steps and simple invitations, Lumumba was preaching out of Revelation and asked the question, "What has helped me in sharing the word of my testimony?" I was particularly caught by his first point of prayer.

Jesus taught us to pray. Prayer is unique to humankind and a primary indicator of the faithfulness of God's people. God hears every prayer. It is transformational, impactful, good for the soul, empowered by the Spirit, and necessary for our intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Yet we often treat it as a daily chore.

When prayer becomes an after thought for me I begin to forget who I am in Christ, that I have been called and sent by God, and what I have been sent to do. When my prayer life is weak it becomes a laundry list of what I hope God will do for me instead of remembering who He is and listening to what He has to say. Prayer must be my first response, my last resort, and a vital aspect of everything in between.

For Lumumba, he is now at a place where he can see that God has often answered his prayers by sending relationships. Those who mentored him, listened to him, and cared enough to spend time with him. Now he carries on that mission with the new friends he encounters (by the way, how great is it that Lumumba refers to everyone he teaches as his friends?). Prayer is the most powerful weapon on earth. Yet, how focused do I become on whether God is answering my prayers that I forget He might be positioning me as the answer for someone else? As the church, we are God's chosen agent in this time and place.

When I pray, I need to remember to ask God to keep me mindful of others. Loving my neighbor is not the decision to approve of their existence or tolerate their presence but to care enough to listen, spend time, and build relationship that they may see the work of Christ and the truth of the Gospel in my life. That relationship may lead to a simple invitation to meet the church family or a small act of kindness, but the most profound first step I can take is to begin with prayer. The more frequently I talk to God the more my prayers shift to an outward focus. Not just to lay down what I hope for but to listen to what He would ask of me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What should I do for Lent?

Be led by the Spirit, practice discipline, reflect on Jesus, and listen.


Lent is a traditional time of 40 days to prepare the Church for Easter. There is a liturgical build toward Passion Week and all of it culminates in celebrating Jesus rising from the dead. The time period is set in recognition of the time Jesus was led into the wilderness prior to His public ministry.

Matthew 4:1
    Be led by the Holy Spirit. As a follower of Christ it is difficult for me to avoid the imperative of listening to the Comforter. The One who was sent to come alongside humanity is still the One who leads the Church. To prepare myself for Easter, what can I do to engage in this practice?

Matthew 4:2
    It is common to fast during these 40 days. I have heard it taught that there are two types of spiritual discipline: engagement and abstinence. In order to set this time apart perhaps I should be led by the Spirit in my decision to practice a spiritual discipline that will focus and elevate this period i…

Peeling the Onion

Every layer of bias brings tears to my eyes.

There is nothing easy about having the Holy Spirit reveal the ways in which I think I am better than others. Neither is it comfortable to see how often I compare myself negatively to those around me. While the process of detaching those layers is painful, the end result is a newfound freedom. Only the Holy Spirit can work on me in this way.

The funny thing is, I once played the role of a certain big, green ogre in a musical. In that show, he tries to explain how complicated he is by describing himself as an onion. NOT that he's smelly, but you'll understand him better if you just accept that he has lots of layers. This was a way to explain away his behavior, and justify himself believing that he was better off living outside of community.

How good have we become at self-deception?

The most painful layer of "better than-ism" exposed last week in the preaching was in regards to God, Himself. Sure, I thought of how I might ju…

Eternal Boredom...

Will living for eternity in heaven get boring?

This is an interesting thought that I have heard from a couple of people in the past few weeks. Two Sundays ago, while proclaiming Psalm 23, I said that the idea of dwelling in the house of the Lord forever was a difficult concept during this "Stay Home" season. Then this past Sunday, Ty was proclaiming Psalm 27 and the same phrase was repeated!

Oh, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life?

First of all, it is astounding to meditate on the fact that when I consider "all the days of my life" they extend throughout eternity. There is now, in Christ, no separation between my days under the sun and my days in the fullness of His presence. That idea alone ignites my imagination and challenges my limited concept of time.

Next, how can I possibly fathom the dimensions of "the house of the Lord?" This is a location unlike any other. God is both outside of time and space, yet able to be tangib…