Have you ever gone through a famine or lean times in your prayer life? I know I have, even recently. It’s often said that we can become disconnected from Jesus when things are going well and we are in a place of false independence. However for me more recently, I found myself battle weary. Sometimes it seems like the enemy is winning; like the warriors are few and any ground won is quickly lost. For the past nine years I have been on a spiritual journey desperate to see the glory of Jesus among believers in the Church and not-yet believers within our community.
That desperation led me to many things. It inspired me to be an advocate for prayer in the lives of believers; it led me to question and examine culture both within the church and those to whom we have been sent; and it compelled me to evaluate my role “to seek and save the lost,” and to look for ways to do so by thinking outside the box. I even went back to school to obtain a degree thinking that reaching out relationally would require knowledge that I lacked. The truth is, all we need is Jesus and this is no trivial truth. It is The Truth!
We have been redeemed! We have the love of Jesus in us and His example of love and sacrifice to guide and transform us into His likeness. Though we continue to be sanctified, He remains with us. I am weak, I struggle with short-sightedness, my focus gets off course, and I’m inpatient and try to do a lot in my own strength. But, Jesus not only said we could do this, He sent us, each and every one of His children! That’s me and that’s you, we’ve been sent into our workplaces, neighborhoods, and our many activities as ambassadors.
Have you ever planted a seed and witnessed it take root as faith in another individual? I have twice, but that was more than twenty years ago. What happened? For me the answer to that question is that I’ve been busy. Busy working for and serving in the church, going to school, raising a family, basically doing good things. However, very little of my time has been intentionally focused on developing natural relationships with the not-yet believers that have come and gone in my life. What’s with that? I still think of a woman I met during one of my last classes. We hit it off, we had coffee together, and then I got a job…I never invested in that friendship.
E.M. Bounds said, “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live.” To be on mission, to reach the people Jesus loves and the people He has placed in our paths, you and I must have a living faith. With faith, nothing is impossible. Faith that comes by prayer removes obstacles in our lives and the lives of others, and enables the power of Christ to work through us.
The pastor of Reality Church, Britt Merrick sums it up like this, “We know that ‘the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. Our plot of ground is our present culture—where Satan sets up camp. Our weapon to defend that ground is prayer.” Let’s be people of living faith, let’s be people of prayer. The power of Christ is waiting for us to join with Him.