November brings the opportunity to enjoy autumn breezes, falling leaves and leftover Halloween candy in the grocery store. By now, school is well underway, we are pulling out our winter clothing and thinking about buying a turkey. Halloween is past, Thanksgiving is on the way and then seemingly on its heels, Christmas. If you are Methodist, you start thinking about Charge Conference and End of Years Reports. There’s a lot of meeting, planning and strategizing. Before we begin the end of year whirlwind, I ask you to think about something.
I want you to think about prayer. As my friend Shane Raynor pointed out in a recent online article for most of us, our prayer life “stinks” (his word, not mine!) Shane goes on to say:
“Remember the TV series Alias? Before every mission, everyone sat around a conference table for a pre-mission briefing. The director of SD-6 (an organization originally thought to be a black ops section of the CIA) gave instructions, answered questions, and discussed strategy with the field agents and other team members. Then Sydney (portrayed by Jennifer Garner) went out on the mission, and nothing ever went according to plan. But that’s not the point. (Or maybe it is. God’s missions always seem to include surprises too.)
“Here’s the point—if we aren’t in regular communion with God, and we aren’t praying for the people around us, odds are we won’t be as intentional about sharing our faith with them. Prayer helps us get to know God’s heart, and it’s through prayer that we cultivate a heart to see others come to know Christ and experience victory over sin. Put another way, when we hang out with God enough, what’s important to him will start to become more important to us. Regular prayer helps us keep our mission in focus.” 1
Our mission, of course is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” 2 And I believe the best way to start is prayer. It seems so very simple, yet prayer is so very powerful. We are starting a new prayer study based on the book “Circle Maker” November 7, 2017 at 6:pm in the Welcome Center. If we want to develop ourselves as disciples so that we can in turn make disciples, it must begin in prayer. Will you join me in prayer to grow both as individuals and as a church?
Dearest and most gracious God,
We are Yours. The church is Yours. I pray that You bring to us life, energy, joy, creativity, power and strength to this your church so that we can be Your body. We want to grow as Your disciples so that we can change this world. In Jesus holy name, AMEN.