Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Beyond the Walls is a weekly blog to help Christ followers move beyond the walls of their church buildings, homes, comfort zones, and culture to engage those we live among with the Gospel.
If we are to effectively live “beyond the walls” engaging people with the Gospel where we live, work and play, it is critical that we see them as God sees them. It is critical that we are sensitive to the whispers of the Holy Spirit as He prompts us in who to engage and what to say. It is critical that we “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
And the only way that can happen is through prayer. Not prayer on the run. Not prayer in the car on the way to work or your next appointment. Not prayer only when a crisis hits. Not prayer only when we feel like praying.
What I am talking about is daily setting aside time to press into the heart of God, seeking His face over an open Bible. And then living each day in conversational intimacy with God out of the overflow of that daily one-on-one time with the Father.
The reality is that most Christ-followers never spend daily time with the Lord in prayer including pastors and ministry leaders. Why? While I could list several reasons as to why this is so, let’s focus on the primary reason.
The reason many of us struggle with prayer is that we misunderstand the very nature of prayer. We see prayer primarily as coming to God with our list of needs and wants and the needs and wants of others.
And while petition and intercession are vital aspects of prayer, this is not where prayer begins. We have made prayer transactional. God desires prayer to be relational. The heart of prayer is communion with God. The purpose of prayer is knowing God.
In Ephesians 1:16ff, Paul shares with the church in Ephesus how he is praying for them. As you read through those verses, it is obvious that the heart of his prayer is that the eyes of their hearts would be opened to how great and good and glorious God is; to know Him intimately.
And it is out of that worship-fueled communion with God that our petitions and intercessions flow as we pray with hearts tuned to His heart, His voice, His will.
So let me ask you – how is your prayer life? Do you spend daily time with the Lord? If not, I encourage to begin by spending 15 minutes every day with God. Make it simple. Sit down with an open Bible, read a devotional thought based on the Word of God (my favorite is My Utmost for His Highest), and spend time praising God for who He is, thanking Him for His love for you, declaring your love for Him, and sharing with Him the burdens of your heart.
Develop the discipline of daily time with God. And as you do, I promise that over time the discipline will become a delight.