I have to start this post in brutal honesty: Until about a month ago I cringed when thinking about prayer, prayer meetings, people praying in worship. Prayer has been a struggle for me – so much so, that I borderline despised it. However, through the prayers of many and the movement of the Holy Spirit on my heart and in others’ lives, my life has taken a very different turn. Now, prayer is starting to become a way of life for me, rather than being some far-off, unattainable gift reserved for only those of incredible faith and discipline.
In March, one of our shepherds here at Crosspointe began to say that we needed to be a prayer-driven church. I tuned out. Prayer has been such a fight for me. I feel like I can’t keep my mind occupied, my thoughts right, and I would usually end up dozing off or doing something else altogether. Prayer was more of a wrestling match between me and God…and I pretended I was the victor. So about a month ago I was convicted in massive, unrelenting ways about a sin that I had in my life that was eating me alive…and it got to the point where I couldn’t carry on mentally until I made it right with those involved. I did, and that’s when things began to change.
During my wrestling matches where I did more counseling of God than anything else (how arrogant of me, right?) I was brought to an incredible realization: I didn’t understand prayer at all.
I started praying a six-word prayer anytime my mind would get there and I said, “Lord, teach me how to pray.” I mean, if it was good enough for the disciples to ask God-in-the-flesh Jesus in Luke 11, it should be a good starting point, right? So I asked. I asked a lot. I asked all the time. And, believe it or not, God has not stopped answering me. So here I am, writing a blog. I’m thinking that this will be a multi-part series in which chronicle my adventures in prayer…so I’d like to invite you on that journey with me.
This all has come about by my teaching in our Sunday evening class called “Vertical Church,” in which I hoped to highlight the characteristics of a healthy, growing congregation. However, the Holy Spirit has hijacked the class, and I’m in awe of what God is doing in our group at Crosspointe. So I gladly let God steal the spotlight for His glory, and I will share with you what I am learning as we go. I don’t profess to be a prayer warrior in any sense of the phrase, but I am a man who is growing in closeness to God.
If you think you’ve got a good grasp on prayer, great! Share your tips in the comments below. However, if you’re like me, and you feel completely and absolutely clueless about what it really means to pray, than stay tuned in this series as I put forth to you what God is making known to me so that we can truly grasp the incredible privileged and sheer scandal of the invitation of the Almighty God to speak directly to Him…but not only to speak to Him…to hear from Him and listen to Him daily. I invite you to partner with me to have the audacity to take God at His word, believe what He says, and fulfill His calling for your life.
Let me close this introductory post with the Scripture that started it all for me:
3‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
~ Jeremiah 33:3, NIV