As my life becomes less hurried I am able to become a better pray-er.
By that I mean a person who prays more regularly, naturally and in the sweep of life, as well as someone who makes specific time to pray. I think the latter often gets more of our kudos, but is a significantly smaller portion of our lives!
However I am still un-disciplined at praying for specific things. I tend to listen a fair bit as well as praying fairly ad hoc. I don’t think that’s all bad, but given that there are some things that I would like to pray for on a regular basis I probably need some focus in that area.
Neil Cole has (again) been helpful in giving a practical way of doing this.
In Organic Chuch he writes of spreading the ‘Luke 10:2 virus’. That’s the passage where Jesus says ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ He writes that he has made it a practice to set the alarm on his watch to go off each day at 10.02 AM at which point he will drop what he is doing and take some time to ask God for new missionaries / workers.
Its such a simple idea you could pass over it.
But the beauty of simple ideas is often that they are doable and they don’t require any great skills. So for the last month or so I have been practicing this prayer, at 10.02 each day, just asking God for more people with missionary passion to come and serve with us here in Brighton, as well as praying for more people generally to get off their butts and engage in a missionary life wherever that may be.
In preparing some thoughts on Colossians the other day I was also reading Colossians 4:3-6 and felt I would like to add another prayer to my day. Paul writes:
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”
In speaking of Jesus with people I never want to feel like I need to ‘steer the conversation’ in an awkward and contrived manner. But Paul sums up some things that I am keen to do:
a) find open doors ie. meet people who God is already stirring and connect with them.
b) share the message clearly and communicate the gospel into their lives in a way that is fitting and true.
c) live my life wisely and make the most of every opportunity.
d) speak graciously with people.
So at 4.03 I stop and pray for those things for a few moments.
Its not difficult. In fact its stupidly simple, and yet it focuses our prayers on stuff that is absolutely vital.
In viral fashion I share it on here so that anyone who is open to being infected may pick it up and run with it and in turn spread it thru their own network of people.
Of course, if you are meeting with me at either of these two times you may find me asking you if we can stop for a few minutes of focused prayer for those issues!