Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pray without Ceasing

It's amazing how long God let's us go in our own plan without asking Him for help isn't it? We can get wrapped up in our own lives and schedules and forget to rely on the Lord and pray and have open fellowship with Him. Jonathan and I have been so beautifully reminded that God actually wants to be a part of the ministry here in Kenya. With Jonathan, transitioning to a senior pastor position has come with challenges. With questions like we get from folks like, "What's your vision for the church?" "What's your church model?" In our hearts we know that this is God's church and He will do as he sees fit as long as we pray and come to Him with every detail. But somehow it's easy to get caught up in the thought of what we'd like the church to be like. We've come to the understanding that God wants our church to be a Bible-believing, pray-without-ceasing, loving, God-fearing, Holy-Spirit led church. We are confident that our God answers prayers. And He especially likes to use weak and humble things to confound the wise. Jonathan was wrestling over the Sunday morning message. We've been going through the Book of Revelation at the church and he's been feeling for about a month that God was asking him to go in a different direction. "But Lord, this is what we do. We teach the whole book, verse by verse, till it's finished." Then came the night before the Sunday morning message. Jonathan walked into the living room after a couple hours of studying, and he just looked defeated. I asked him, "How's it going?" He says, "I've got nothing." We both looked at each other and knew God was going to do something amazing. It unfortunately tends to be our most desperate time where we really call upon the name of the Lord for help and His mighty hand will always deliver us. Jonathan began to pray. He was led that night to a book called "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala. It's the amazing testimony about the Brooklyn Tabernacle that God revived and restored through prayer. It's an INCREDIBLE book. We realized how much we've neglected prayer. We pray before meals, pray with/for our kids, pray when theirs a need from someone but not with the passion that comes from a prayer warrior who is aware that we our speaking to our Heavenly Father and He WILL answer. That night something amazing happened. Jonathan and I got a fresh wind and fresh fire that was beyond anything we expected. The Lord showed Jonathan what he should share with the congregation the next day. I've seen God move in my husband before, but not like this. I can't even describe that night to you but we know that God is with us. God is moving in our church, He has a heart and a vision for the people regardless of what we think should happen. It was stunning to experience God in such a fresh way that we had realized that we'd been trying to "do church" in our own strength for too long. Since then our passion has been renewed for prayer. We are excited to see what God will do with His people. We are humbled and amazed that God would work through us in this way. We have been blessed by those who pray for the church and for our family. We can tell you first hand that God hears and God answers prayer!