A House of Prayer for All Nations - Posted 9/8/2017
From Pastor Chris

When I was in high school, our English teacher gave a writing assignment to discuss the sentence, “The good is the worst enemy of the best." Because it was English class, I’m not sure if there was a right or wrong answer. But I think the idea of the statement is that we often fail to pursue excellence because we are satisfied with the decent job we are doing. We need what Bill Hybels calls a “holy discontent."

This temptation to be content with the current state of affairs affects every aspect of church life–worship, Biblical understanding, evangelism, nurturing relationships, etc. I want to focus on how it relates to prayer.

We all pray some. Whether before a meal, at bedtime, or with a sick friend, we all pray. Yet few of us have lives that are permeated with prayer–defined, marked as a life of prayer. Likewise, our church is a praying church. We have an active prayer room, monthly Prayer at the Altar, and prayer at every Sunday service. But would a visitor attending for the first time be amazed at how seriously we take prayer?

I believe God is calling us to be “A house of prayer for all nations.” I am not interested in legalistic requirements of logging hours of prayer. But this does mean creating space personally and corporately for seeking God himself and his direction and provision for all of life.

We have two upcoming opportunities to move in this direction. The Prayer Boot Camp walks through four basic types of prayer: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Many from our church attended a Prayer Boot Camp at First Baptist Church of Woodbridge and were challenged by the opportunity to learn more about prayer and actually pray with others around the table. As a follow up to these Boot Camps, we will offer 8-session courses through The Battle Plan for Prayer (see the website for more details).

Prayer is not rocket science–there is nothing complicated or confusing about it. To use a food metaphor, our biggest problem is often that we treat prayer as a garnish rather than a marinade. We sprinkle it over our plans rather than soaking our hearts and minds in it. And the aim of the Prayer Boot Camp and The Battle Plan for Prayer is to nurture practices that keep our hearts saturated in the presence of God.

Please join us for one of the Prayer Boot Camps and the follow-up study (using the links on the website). As we frame our days and weeks around seeking God through prayer, may we be increasingly defined as “A house of prayer for all nations.”

 

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