A Note From Chris - February 10, 2022

God moves when his people pray.  

That isn’t just a cliche' phrase. It is a promise in Scripture and a reality on earth. When we pray, we welcome God’s presence, wisdom, action, and movement in our lives. Do things go exactly how we pray every time? Of course not. Prayer is never intended to be like Netflix. We don’t simply choose the outcome we want and then tell God to get it for us. Instead, when we humble ourselves enough to pray, and pray regularly, we are welcoming in the love of God and the wisdom of God, both of which cannot be measured or equaled, into every situation in our lives.

We are now on day 25 of our 100 Days of Prayer as a church. If you are surprised by that number and can’t believe we’ve come this far already or have fallen a bit behind in your book, I get it! I was apparently a day off and was redirected myself today. The key in this season is not a rigid adherence to some book or pattern, but faithful and consistent prayer. And we already know, it doesn’t happen on its own!

On Day 15 of our 100 Days of Prayer book, this quote from Henri Nouwen was given:
“A spiritual discipline is necessary in order to move slowly from an absurd to an obedient life, from a life filled with noisy worries to a life in which there is some free inner space where we can listen to our God and follow his guidance.”

If you are looking for some reading on spiritual growth, check out Henri Nouwen. What he says here is counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. We are naturally going faster and faster and louder and louder. But a prayer focus insists we step into that flow and disrupt it for Jesus’ sake. I’m encouraged by some of the efforts I’m hearing about across our church.
  • The O’Fallon Campus has a daily prayer prompt for their entire church, each with specific prayers for their church and their influence in O’Fallon
  • Our elders send a daily prayer reminder with one focus area to pray together
  • Small groups send texts and emails, others using phone alerts as reminders to pray with some general topics or guidance.
One person said to me last week, “I’ve never prayed so much in my life!” That is so encouraging. God moves when his people pray.

Here’s a reminder of a few of the challenges I issued as we started the 100 Days of Prayer. It’s not too late to join others in the consistent and intentional effort to grow in our prayer lives.

1. Double your prayer time. Simply set a timer or calendar twice as much prayer time as you currently have. If you are close to zero, start with a 5 minute minimum!

2. Go on prayer walks. Put on a jacket and walk the neighborhood, praying for neighbors and talking to Jesus about the things on your heart that day.

3. Pray Scripture over your people. Find Scripture that really resonates to you regarding your spouse, roommate, kids, grandkids, etc. and pray the words of Scripture over them.

And remember, God moves when his people pray!

See you this Sunday as we launch our new series, Soul Keepers. Who do you need to invite this weekend as we start a new series together?
Yours & His,

Chris VandeLinde

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