If you’re a practical, ‘get-up-and-go’ type like me, it’s very easy to get super excited with an idea, a project and all that entails. I can find myself off and running before I’ve even asked God if it’s right and often I have to take myself back to a place with him. To just stop. And to just listen.
Everything has to be built on prayer and especially if you are reaching out to an area of those with no faith. I almost wrote ‘unchurched’ there but it’s a word I really don’t like. After all we are not wanting people to become part of our church at the end of the street, we want them to enter the kingdom! I’ll write on that another day, it’s an attitude many have that mission is about getting more bums on seats in church. It really isn’t…
So, prayer. I don’t believe we can do anything really without God, and with him, we can do all things, nothing is impossible!
I see prayer as building a firm foundation on which we can build. As we pray we are drawing up plans, digging trenches, filling them with a firm and solid core and setting them in stone. It’s a well-used analogy but so true with prayer. I feel like every prayer prayed into an area or project is just firming up those foundations more and more.
On one of the projects I work on, a team was praying there for years before anything happened and once an intentional team was formed we met and prayed for 6 months before anything started. Now we still gather to pray each week for the area, the people and the project.
In those times of prayer we have seen God give pictures and visions of the future, of the direction to go in. We have seen amazing answers to prayer, we have received prophetic words for the future and huge encouragements. There have been times we have struggled and been down and after praying together have felt filled up, refreshed and renewed to continue the task at hand.
A great example of this was when, in a relatively run down area, a street lamp in a very dark corner was continually vandalised and the bulb broken by young people throwing stones at it. After a while the council stopped repairing it, meaning that this one area, was left in darkness, physically as well as spiritually. It became a place people didn’t want to walk through as it was so dark. The council then decided to remove the lamp post all together as they were not going to repair it.
The team felt this was not what God was saying, they knew he was going to bring light to this area, so they prayed (and even lay hands on the lampost!). They declared light, physically and spiritually, over the lamp and over the area. And you know what? the next week the council changed their mind, and not only agreed to leave the post but changed the bulb and as far as I know it has not been broken since!
Of course the actual physical light changed the atmosphere and allowed people to walk through the area once more, but spiritually it felt like a huge breakthrough, a true sign of God’s light reaching into this dark area.
We can never underestimate the power of prayer!