Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hearing Answers to Prayer

Our Prayer time a week ago focused on a trip to India that some Experience Life people had gone on earlier this year.  We had our usual time of worship, went into some prayer topics for people to pray where they were.

The India team shared about the warfare that happened at the beginning of their trip, how God honors true obedience and how God is stirring in them a heart for peoples of the world.

As time has moved on at Experience Life we are getting to see answers to prayer we prayed in times past come to fruition now.  We have prayed that God would use us in reaching nations.  And going on two and a half years of age as a church, we have seen people go to China twice, India twice and Southern Mexico.  This year we have more trips planned to Mexico and Guatemala.  We pray that we can serve the gospel in other countries as well as our own city.

Another area that we see prayer making a difference is the number of first time commitments to Christ.  Since before Christmas the number of people that are taking that step in their lives has almost doubled from the norm before that.  It encourages us to continue to pray.  Individual prayer changes us and corporate prayer changes our cities, regions and even nations.

Our prayer target this year for Monday Night Prayer was to have over 300 in attendance.  The two previous weeks we did that.  We aren't focused on numbers, but we get excited that people are hungry to pray and seek God.  Great revivals always begin with prayer.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Awakened Hearts

This past Monday night I would characterize as a time of awakened hearts.  People are coming to our prayer times with expectant hearts.  You can sense the expectation of God showing up and moving among people.  And we are hearing tons of stories about God changing people and encouraging them in their walk with Him.

I don't know how often I have thought that a Monday night or even some of our weekend services were completely amazing and unsure how they could be topped and then to have this feeling again and again.  Monday night was one of those times.

People connected strongly in worship this past week.  Someone handed me a note and I thought it was appropriate for the service.  The gist of the note said "Tell them not to seek me for what they can get, but to seek to know me.  I desire to be a father and a friend".  We prayed that we would check our motives and be there to know Jesus more.

We prayed for our lifehouse and life transformation group leaders.  We shared how God had saved many the prior weekend and we prayed for the coming weekend.  One of our mission partners (Greg & Michelle McClanahan joined us from Chiapas Mexico.  Greg came up and shared briefly what God was doing in the ministries of Harvest Evangelistic Association.  Greg also shared about how God called him out of his own comfort zones, how he was an ordinary guy that God called to do extraordinary thing for God.  He shared about hearing Gods voice and being obedient to that voice.

We then added on this night an extra 20 - 30 minutes for people to come and call out to God.   I invited people to come up and kneel or to find postures of submittedness to God as we are calling out for revival in our city and our region.  The band came back up and led out with "Fire fall down".  Our prayer teams were on the sides to pray for people during this time.  Many came, of all ages and kneeled or prostrated themselves before God.  There was a powerful sense of His presence.  Many came and were prayed for.  It was hard to leave Monday night.

We broke our record attendance as we had 336 in the service and then probably another 60 - 70 in our children s area.  Numbers aren't what we are looking for, but when more come to pray we get excited because we know that God is faithful and will answer people who are hungry and seeking Him.


Giving Thanks for:

27 first time commitments to Christ

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks: A Right Heart in Prayer

Psalms 95 pretty much sums up what our Monday Night Prayer looked like this past week. 

  1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!
      Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
 2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
      Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
 3 For the Lord is a great God,
      a great King above all gods.

We came into the evening with thankful hearts.  We prayed, we prepared and God moved greatly upon us for an off the chain Easter.  We had over 4500 people with 124 first time commitments that we know of.  So many people were moved as we shared the story of "the" ultimate fighter, Jesus Christ.He also enabled us to go into our community and serve the with over 3200 man hours this past week. 

So we celebrated by spending 20 minutes in worship and then we allowed people to share God stories about Easter and Servolution.  We had about 10 - 15 people come to the mike and share with us.  We spent some time appreciating the many volunteers that gave so graciously of their time this past week.

Thanksgiving is a prayer that is often overlooked as prayer.  It puts our hearts in the right place before God.  Thanksgiving recognizes it is all about Him.  With thanksgiving we are reminded how God is the giver of life and grace and peace.

Prayer From the Tower

In the short life of Experience Life we realize that Easter weekend is a key time in the life of our church.  Our mission is for people to experience life by experiencing Jesus, community and service.  Each Easter more people visit churches than any other time of the year.  Because we are trying to reach the unchurched our Easter is enormous.  We have seen many make first time commitments to Christ and alongside that we have seen a whole lot of spiritual warfare, therefore the need for extra prayer during this season.

So on good Friday we had an extra prayer time with two objectives in mind.  Pray for Experience Life and pray for the city as Easter is upon us.

The NTS Tower is a strategic place in the city of Lubbock.  It is the highest building in Lubbock and has windows around 3 sides so it overlooks the city.   You get to see the city as you pray.  We had 73 people come and pray.  We prayed for those involved in our services and then each person was given a list of the churches in the city and we looked out upon the city and prayed over these churches.

We continue to be convinced that personal prayer changes individuals but corporate prayer changes cities, regions and even nations.