Thursday, August 26, 2010

Postures of the Heart

Prayer began this past week with sharing some answers to prayer that have happened recently.  We then read Isaiah 53, the chapter that describes Jesus.  We went into our worship set.  As people were connecting to God in worship it seemed we should press into God.  I asked everyone to take a posture of consecration.  That could be kneeling where they were at or any other posture that helped them bow their heart to the living God.  We spent time on our knees asking God for more of His presence in our lives and in our times of prayer.

I believe strongly in postures of prayer.  Postures help point our heart.  It is harder to be prideful when you are bowing your knee.  It is a posture that is designed to point your heart to reliance on God.

We continued in our services and had our college director share about what is happening this semester and then we had college students stand and we prayed for them as they begin the semester.  We prayed for all of the prayer requests from the previous weekend.  We prayed for the lost in our city.  Our ministry time at the end was used to pray for those who were experiencing spiritual warfare and were somehow discouraged.  We prayed for people who were dealing with shame from past sins.

I find our hour goes by very fast for corporate prayer.


Elements that worked tonight:

Reading the whole chapter of Isaiah 53 at the front end.

Asking people to kneel or find a posture of consecration.

Having everyones head bowed when praying for people dealing with Shame.
Memorable moments & phrases:

Telling part of the story of Tomas Guzaro: where at gunpoint and the threat of his life he told his assassins that to live was good and to die and be with Jesus was good also.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prayer: The Heart of God

Monday nights has been the place where God is meeting people.  Our Monday night prayer gathering has grown tremendously this summer as we are averaging over 500 each Monday night.  People are coming with a sense of expectation in what their God will do in this hour each week.  People from other churches are coming to be a part.  We welcome anybody to come and join in prayer for the city and for our region.

This past Monday night was a little more low key than many Monday nights.  Brandon Gwinn our lead worship leader at Elife did a set that was more calming and intimate than usual.  I had many comments about the peace of God present during worship.  I took some time and communicated some basic vision about Monday night, why we do what we do.

Our goal:  To connect with God, to hear His plans, and to be empowered to carry out those plans.
The key:   Gods presence among us
Our method: Consistant Prayer

The break down of Monday nights is times of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  We are also intentionally listening to Gods voice and trying to be directed by that voice.

Monday night we prayed for our team going to Guatemala this coming week, we prayed for our Pack the Pack outreach (giving away school supplies to more needy schools in Lubbock), we prayed for our current series: FAQ, we prayed for the lost to get saved in Lubbock Texas, and we prayed God would raise up prayer gatherings all across our city.

During our prayer ministry time we prayed for anyone about to make a change to a new place (students fit this as they begin the school year), we prayed for our lifehouse leaders and apprentices, and we prayed for those who had really hard things happen to them this year and needed courage to make it through.
Elements that worked tonight:

The slower pace of worship created a more peaceful time for people.

Having our intercessors pray for our prayer gathering 15 minutes before hand seems to give the gathering much energy.

Having five separate sections of chairs rather than three.

Memorable moments & phrases:

The largest amount of children we have ever had.  We had to recruit staff to help with kids.

Visitors coming up to me at the end and commenting how moved they were by Gods presence.

"You don't have to change your place when going through a hard time, God can change your perspective and awareness"

"Corporate Prayer is on Gods heart for the earth"  Mk 11

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Abandonment in All Things

I am so thankful that God has surrounded me with a solid core of lay leaders at our Monday Night Prayer time.  From time to time I ask them to give me some thoughts they have about prayer.  These come from Dina Pender our Greeters team coordinator on Monday nights.

I believe something is “building” at Monday Night Prayer.  I have really been impressed over the last few weeks that as we reach up and out to God – He is responding and encouraging us that not only is He aware of us, but He desperately wants us to know that He loves us just like we are when we come to Him at that exact moment, with everything all out of whack and messed up!  He is delighted in our desire to pull closer to Him and He welcomes us readily and eagerly.  He literally loves that we are willing to come to Him even though we didn’t get-it-together before hand. He is showing His love in this way, it is not what we have or haven’t done that causes Him to love us…He just does because He chooses too.

On a recent Monday, I received a very clear word that God is sovereign and as we deepen our relationship with Him, He is calling us to trust Him in all things with abandonment.  We should not be deceived into believing that by what we “see” He has not answered our prayers or is indifferent in any way to our requests or heart-cries.  He wants us to walk as mature Christians and trusting children that He is in control, even when we don’t receive the answer we were hoping for.

“It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally.  It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet and what is sand.”  Madeleine L’Engle

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Radical Generosity

Last night was a powerful time of Gods people seeking God and listening to God to bless others.  I don't know that I can describe the evening well.  So I think I'll let your comments about the night tell the story"

  • It was my first Monday night to attend. I was blown away with Gods presence! Amazing!
  • I am so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to God's blessing on those people tonight. I love you Jesus and thank you.
  • It was amazing, I felt so much joy to be able to help two of them. It was amazing to watch God work. It was amazing to pray over a single father weeping and overwhelmed by the love. Amazing.
  • I was there. That was the most incredible thing I was ever able to participate in. Let's change this city for God!!
  • that was the most amazing this ive ever seen sooo powerful.
  • It was amazing to see their faces when people were handing them money and then praying for them. Thanks for the opportunity to give!!
  • I want y'all to know that my mom was one who stood up and y'all blessed hr so much.on Sunday when we got home from churched we walked in our house had been broken into a wii two tvs,two dvd players, and other stuff were stolen from our home..  are behind a few house payments and we were blessed to get a little over half way caught up... thank you elifers for your giving hearts and my God bless you in so many ways...again a million thank yous...
  • Well I am not able to attend Monday night prayer because I have class, mon- thur. night, but my son attends and he was truly touched tonight. He comes from a single parent home and he knows the struggles we go through,but he also knows how many times God has blessed us through our Elife family. He was sharing with me about the service, he told me mom I had the $6 in my wallet that you told me to keep, but I gave it to a man that stood up. It made me have chills and tear up.I am so glad he listened to God telling him to give. God is doing amazing things in the lives of the people who attend E-life, and even more so in the lives of our youth!!!
  • POWERFUL prayer night! Our GOD is awwwesome... -J
  • How incredible it is to see people from all walks of life (esp youth) really "getting it"! Tonight was one of the most overwhelming God moments that I have felt! Brought my friend for the first time and she even though elife is radically diff from what she's used to said that she was moved and felt God's presence.
  • Tonight was such an amazing blessing to bless others and then to watch how God didn't do just a little bit. He poured out abundant blessings above all we could imagine on our single parents tonight!!!!! There is something radical happening at E-Life and it excites me to see God work in tangible ways to change our city -- one life at a time.
  • I was overwhelmed tonight as I watched our youth stand in line to give and be used by God to bless others tonight! They gave of their own money and also prayed BOLDLY for our single parents. It blessed my heart to see our young people put their faith in action and change the lives of people much older than they are.
  • It was so Amazing to be apart of Prayer Service last night. I still get chills thinking about the Experience.
  • monday night prayer was BY FAR the coolest prayer meeting yet! giving is ABSOLUTELY better than receiving...
  • Monday Night Prayer ALWAYS brings me to my knees and God tells me exactly what I need to hear. Love Elife for having prayer be a priority!
  • WOW...tonight was awesome!! It never gets old to see God do such amazing things in the lives of His people!! Love how He continues to go above and beyond even our highest expectations! :)
  • The Holy Spirit was in the house tonight. P.S- whoever prayed for me last week, I saw a marked difference in that area. Thank you.
  • this was my first Monday Prayer Meeting and i must say i could feel the love in the room. such an amazing feeling
  • AWESOME Prayer night this evening! The Lord was very present and man did he show His love to me this evening. Thank you ELife! Praise be to God!

Elements that worked tonight:

Began the night with centering in on Christ using three verses with three themes: Passion, purity, and perseverance.  We took a moment to read a verse on each topic, share a brief explanation and then have people repent and ask God for help.

Creating some space in the front for people to come and worship or kneel or sit.  Our youth have moved into that area.

Memorable moments:

Having single parents who had a financial need stand.  As we sang another chorus we asked people to give sacrificially to our single parents.  It was an incredibly moving scene to see lines of people waiting to bless each single parent that stood as everyone else worshiped.