Friday, May 1, 2009

We are growing as a church. Slowly numerically, good growth financially, spiritually, biblical literacy, missionally…but we also need to grow prayerfully.

It is part of becoming a “sticky” church. Get used to the term, you will hear a lot about it in the coming year.

A sticky church sticks together, and people that come into contact with it want to be stuck to it. A sticky church worships together; plays together; serves together; laughs and cries together and prays together.

Praying together allows our hearts to hear one another and enter into deeper community. It grows our empathy; it ignites our passions; and it teaches us about one another. Public prayer has more than one audience. It is aimed at God, but it also splashes over each other. We hear hopes, wounds, confessions, dreams…and knowing these things about each other helps us to become a deep community. Vulnerability and transparency heal wounds; bind hearts; and draw us into one another.

Thus this Sunday night we will enter our prayer summit with these expectations.

And we will have a rhythm. The rhythm goes like this:

1. Adoration:
a. We will have a time to worship God and thank him for who he is; all he has done; and all he is doing and will do through and with us. Our voices become songs which are prayers.
2. Confession:
a. We will have a time for you to ask God to forgive you. Both of the things you have failed to do as well as have done wrong. This includes our failures as church leaders, missional ambassadors, evangelists, etc. Failure is a NORMATIVE part of the Christian experience of yearning towards and never reaching perfection. Forgiveness and Grace fill us with hope, even as confession empties the burdens of our guilt and shame. Confession is just a healthy short-accounts apology. It helps us be responsible, and pulls us out of the delusions of excuses and rationalization. Confession is always the first step towards true joy, though it seems to be headed in the opposite direction. Confession without forgiveness leads to despair…but we have Christ and His grace…and forgiveness in his hands is hope!
3. Intercession:
a. We will have some time for people to be prayed for. For us to in unity ask God for help. In this way we no longer feel like islands, but feel like a part of a whole. Our voices are no longer monologues, but become a choir singing to heaven. Our loneliness is ended, and our longing is joined by others. In intercession we share burdens and carry one another. Indeed as the poet has said “each of us are one winged angels and can only learn to fly by embracing one another.”
4. Prophetic praise and revelation
a. We will end by having a time for anybody to share a scripture that has come to mind, and encouragement, or a revelation for our church family. A chance to say thanks to God and each other; a chance to see the future; a chance to see better where we are. Any “awkward” words become a chance for our elders to discern. It is a time for whatever God may desire to speak-back to us to be heard by all of us. For when we sing to Him, He sings back!

Hope you can be there, it will be great




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