Thursday May 4th, The National Day of Prayer…
So we are participating in the national day of prayer this year… a group of pastors, leaders, and lay people gather in one place on that morning and pray together for a variety of things. We take a stand together for our community and pray that God moves in our state, the country, and our world. But, I just preached on Jesus teaching on prayer… and now thinking about people gathering together for 1 day to pray, just seems… incomplete.
I still believe we should gather this Thursday and pray, but I’m challenged by God to say, why not make this a daily reality. The bible actually suggests we should always be praying (1 These 5:16-18)… it actually states never-ending prayer is “the will of God”. This is no mystery… God’s will is that His people are committed to constant prayer.
At Missio Dei we discussed what a church who prays might look like. Instinctively you are thinking a group of people gathering at a building and praying together. Maybe this is on a Sunday morning gathering, or perhaps a devoted Saturday night… and maybe even a Wednesday night mid-week gathering devoted to prayer. What if… what if we made good on our conviction that the church is people and not a building and we became a bunch of people to commit to the will of God and became people who pray ALWAYS. If we gather together at a building then we pray most certainly, but what if we prayed even when we didn’t gather together at a specific place? What if when we gathered together to pray with our church family, we had been praying all week already and had some things to share about what God is already up to? What if we gathered to pray and that time just confirmed what God was already saying and doing when we prayer in our bedroom, our living room, at the store, at work, and in our schools? What If?
What if we saw prayer like Jesus did on Luke 11? In Luke 11 the disciples of Jesus ask Him, “will you teach us to pray?” and Jesus gladly teaches them.
He tells them to pray like this, “Father, Holy is your name, your kingdom come, Give us this day our daily bread, forgive our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sings against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Many people are going to be familiar with this “teaching” of Jesus or some variation of the “Lord’s Prayer”, but reading Verse 13 changes the prayer game for most of us… “13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
All to often we come to pray with our lists… wants, needs, crying out for God to intervene, etc. But, what if our prayers were centered around asking God to give us The Holy Spirit? More of you father and less of me. Make me more like Jesus (A work that happens only through the Holy Spirit). What if our constant prayer was less about getting God to do things, and more about God’s spirit crashing the scene? Your scene, my scene? What if the church prayed as simply as Jesus seems to suggest… Give us the Holy Spirit?
I’m not sure what it would look like… but I know ONE things for sure! Jesus said if we did pray this way, we have a father who will gladly give us the Gift of The Holy Spirit.
Would you commit to praying continually for God to give us more of The Holy Spirit and then sit back and see what happens?