Wednesday, May 4, 2011

24 Hours of Prayer

This past Easter season we wanted to stretch our faith and pray for 500 first time commitments to Christ.  This is over double the numbers of FTC at last years Easter weekend.  We knew it was a big prayer goal.  An increase in prayer would be needed to meet this challenge God had put in our heart.  We doubled our staff prayer times on the week preceding Easter and this year we added 24 hours of prayer during the weekend.  We have intercessors praying during each of our services so we decided to have 24 straight hours of intercession.

We did sign ups for our whole church and had about 70 sign up to participate.  We scheduled people on hour blocks.  We had a handout in our prayer room that people went through as they prayed.  So from 12:30 pm on Saturday to 12:30 pm on Sunday people were praying.  In the night many would walk through the skating rink (place where we have worship services) and pray or would stay in our prayer room and pray through the agenda.  We had live worship at two of those hours.

On Easter week and the following week we had well over 500 first time commitments to Christ.  I think 24 hours of prayer will become an important part of our prepartion for key weekends where we target the lost.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pray with Patience in Trouble

Romans 12:2 says “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

I find all too often I think of trouble as a virus to dealt with and get out of my system immediately.  Lately I have recognized that trouble can be a true catalyst for the maturing of my faith.  I wonder if trouble is a tension to be wrestled with rather than a problem to be solved.  If we recognized that trouble was a part of our existence, a part of our pathway to maturity we might be more apt to take Paul's advice in Romans 12.  Be patient in trouble (it is maturing your faith) and keep on praying (not just to get out of trouble but pray to hear God on how you can mature in the midst of trouble.)

Prayer is so much more than looking for God to be our cosmic Santa Claus giving us whatever makes us feel good.  Prayer is encountering the God of the universe who wants to mature us into the image of Himself, an image that loves greatly, is rich in mercy, and willing to persevere to a wise end.