Over on our Pentecost Prayer website I’ve shared a few reflections on our prayer focus so far. Here they are …
1. As is so often the case, I’ve found my heart sinking when it has been time to go to another prayer meeting. I’ve dragged myself out through duty. But each time I then found great encouragement and joy in praying with others. I think this is an important thing to realise about the Christian life. If it is a life of joy, why do we need so often to act out of duty and self-discipline? The answer is, I think, that it is through duty and discipline that we discover, or rediscover, the joy. Duty, then, becomes an act of faith. I act out of duty because by faith I believe it will lead to joy – joy here on earth and joy in heaven.
2. I’ve been struck by how we (or at least, I) typically respond to problems or opportunities by asking, ‘What can we do?’ But this is surely wrong. Our first response should be, ‘Let’s pray.’ Let’s try to create this culture in our network – a culture in which our first instinct is to pray. Related to this, I’ve also realised how much I manage my ministry so that it is risk-free and controlled. I want (well at some level at least) to put myself situations in which I am consciously dependant on God.
3. Praying for mission has strengthened by appetite for mission! I particularly miss not reading the Bible with unbelievers on a regular basis. Perhaps we can make this a focus for prayer.