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The Prayer Commission 4th November, 2007

Posted by Scotty in JUC, Prayer.
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Every Friday night at JUC we have a Shabbat Dinner where all the people on campus get dressed up, and the chefs pull all the stops out and cook up something great. After Dinner we have what are called “vespers”. These are short worship services and usually organised by a different person each week.

manypray.jpgI knew I was leading this week and so for the past month I had been quietly feeling out God’s will for the service. My was feeling that it should be simple: a few songs, and some guided prayer. I have been somewhat frustrated around here at the lack of passion that I sense in the area of prayer. Sometimes, what I’m seeing is someone who loves to pray pushing it aside as they prioritize wrongly, putting socializing and school higher up on their list. I felt it important to create an environment where people would pray.

I have coined a phrase that I have been using repeatedly (well, multiple variations of it). It’s something like this:

If it cost a million dollars to pray everyone would want it; but because it’s free we don’t.

And so God led me to an evening that both encouraged and challenged people to remember the price that has been paid in order that we could have it for free! We started with a few songs to facilitate people coming into God’s presence. The songs were chosen to allow them to lay their sin before God and “get right” so that He would hear our prayers. Then, with a very mellow iTunes Playlist in the background we began to pray.

With the Acts commission in mind we prayed for “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth”. Using that theme of increasing size we all split off into small groups and prayed for four areas:

  • Personal Prayer: sharing some fears, worries, joys… and then praying for one another.
  • JUC: praying for the school, the staff, students past/present/future, direction, finances, protection…
  • Israel: for this country and God’s relationship with it, the politics, religion, evangelism…
  • the World: particularly focusing on the spread of the gospel, the call for new labourers, and for any missionaries we know stationed around the world

We spent 10-15 minutes praying for each theme, strongly emphasising the need to pray as God laid things on people’s hearts…. and it was amazing. As I stood up to introduce the transition from personal prayer to praying for the school, I froze. I looked up at the dark room as I gently faded the music until it was muted, and heard what to me is the sweetest sound: the low hum of a room full of people calling out to God for one another. I actually welled up! I waited a few more minutes and then encouraged people to move on to the next topic, and gently turned the music back up. As the time ticked away in each section there was a joy and frustration as I interupted people’s petitions to lead them where God wanted their prayers for the evening. I just wish there had been more time! Oh how I pray that the others were feeling the same desire to pray longer.We sang a song to finish and then I left the music playing and let people know that they could stay and pray if they wanted to. A few people stayed to enjoy fellowship as they prayed for one another. Another group of people, mentioning that it is the most peaceful they have been all semester, just sat where they were and rested, enjoying God’s presence and the company of friends.

This sort of thing isn’t done enough! So often our “worship events” are all about the music. Why does prayer seem like such a difficult thing for people? I have this crazy idea that prayer is powerful… because God hears our prayers and He answers! It is no surprise that this is one of the first areas Satan attacks Christians!

Monica wrote a reflection on the Vesper Service and the challenge God gave to her… It is my hope that all who attended felt challenged in a similar way.

You may not feel called to go to the ends of the Earth with the gospel, but you have no excuse not to pray is to the ends of the Earth!

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Comments»

1. jeremy - 7th November, 2007

I have been following your journey, and I mention your name to God at least once a day. I spend time each day, in silent prayer and meditation in Discernment to Acquire the heart of God.

I so admire the fact that you believe so strongly and that gives me pause to consider, on earth we may not be perfect, but in God’s sight we are made whole and beautiful.

I join you in your prayers.

Jeremy

2. Katie - 7th November, 2007

Thank you Scotty for being this type of person. I know you don’t want to hear what a great guy you are and instead what a great God he serves so I won’t do that. The God that we believe in is great and does wonderful things. This God is powerful enough to conquer anything and everyone should be reminded of that daily.

We are not all perfect, if we were, why would we need a God? We are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. We need a God to be perfect for us so we don’t have to be.

Thank you for believing in what you believe in and knowing that, I am even more convicted that no matter what I do, I will be perfect in God’s eyes.


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