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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.

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