Intimacy with God is the essence of prayer. He is ultimately worthy to be pursued and our disposition toward seeking him should be void of selfish ambition, religious strategy and shallow conceit. Watchman Nee once said, “Yes, sometimes God will hear and respond to your prayers for the sake of satisfying your own needs, yet His own will is not fulfilled. Let us see that such prayer does have much value in it.”
What is so incredible to experience, however, is that when we approach the Lord according to His will in humility with open hands and hearts and meet him face-to-face, our lives are altered for his glory. Life-change is the inherent outflow of authentic communion that is of God and initiated by Him.
When we started the journey of creating a prayer culture at SCC over two years ago, we simply wanted to seek God and hear His voice resonate in our hearts and in the lives of other people. We wanted to become a praying church and not just a church that prays.
What has transpired 730 days later, is the Holy Spirit teaching us to pray and actively transforming and reshaping our community. Here is what we are experiencing:
Increased Spiritual Attentiveness
There has been an increase in consideration for the sacred with the increase in prayer. People are becoming more attentive to God’s heart and to his perfect will for them. I sense a growing patience, stillness and spiritual awareness in corporate settings as well as one-on-one.
There is a deepening both vertically and horizontally. As people are growing closer to God, they are inevitably growing closer to each other. In Jesus’ model prayer he said, “Our Father in Heaven,” indicating that prayer is community with the Lord and others.
Savoring and Enjoying God
It has been said that true worship-based prayer causes one to savor the Blesser more than the blessing. When someone learns to pray, it is evident in their affection for the One they are seeking. Our people are becoming a lot more interested in the Person rather than “the perks” of prayer.
An Ignited Heart for the Gospel
As we consistently petition God, there is a swelling passion for the Gospel and its power to save, heal and transform environments locally and globally. Friends, neighbors, family members and people groups are being lifted up out of a desire to see the message of Christ spoken, preached and lived out.