A Week of Prayer and our story so far

We ended our First 40 Days of Prayer experience with a daily gathering (instead of a the regular weekly one) based on the themes of the  remaining 7 days for the devotionals.

The objective of the First 40 was to end up  with a new or renewed lifestyle of prayer. The signal that we were on the right path would come from how we would testify for Jesus, and grabbed opportunities to make someone else’s life a little better.

The typical week of prayer most of us had been a part of had involved inviting a “special speaker’ to lead a program for spiritual renewal of church folks.

Nothing wrong with that, but while church folks were still blessed by the week,we emphasized building a praying and outward-focused community of Christ’ disciples.

Here are two main ways we hoped to accomplish this objectives,aside from a daily email devotionals focused compassion:

1. We encouraged people to be attentive to whom God was calling them to invite to the HoPE. In fact, the dream was to have a sign outside of our HoPE space so that a passersby would read: “How may we pray with you? Please come in!”

What if our Houses of Prayer were places where the stranger could be welcome and know that there would find a safe place to pour their deepest prayer and where people of God could support them in their search for God?

2. What if Week of prayers weren’t only events to inspire ourselves, but an occasion to provide spiritual encouragement with practical acts of kindness toward our local community?

As a group, we collected items for homeless people or people in need that we might encounter on the road during our day. Having starter kit bags ready to distribute created an awareness and a  reminder that God had provided for us so that we might bless someone else when the occasion would present itself.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

-Ephesians 2:10

As a follow up to our 40Days, we plan to do outreach as a group on a more regular basis among ourselves and with our local church at large. If you are joining local agencies to provide for the poor while connecting it to Prayer Ministry, please share with us on this blog! We’d love to read about what you’re doing.

2. During our week of prayer, we as leaders receded into the background as much as possible and made space for others to rise to the occasion for leading out in prayers and sharing their story -so far- with God.

The Week of Prayer became an opportunity for living out what the Holy Spirit was empowering us to do. The seven days were a microcosm of the life we are called to live everyday: Share with others our stories with God so far and practice serving another.

In other words, Live the Gospel.

As a community we want to came together to do something for the benefit of those we’ve been praying about: those who have less or are easily forgotten in our society. Prayer is not doing nothing.

Prayer is doing good or doing ministry in the authority of Jesus, and prayer  is the power source of what makes living the Gospel possible.

Courage!

sv

 

 

A man brings another into the Presence of Jesus

CD came to the prayer meeting tonight because he was in trouble.

Just yesterday,Luis had approached him while he was sitting outside. The young adult seemed at death’s door and the intensity of his heart break was on his face. Luis was moved to share words of encouragement and promises from Scripture with him even though he barely knew him, except as the son of a distant neighbor. Luis invited the young stranger to come with Him to the HoPE meeting at his church the next day on Wednesday.

What happened next was nothing short of God’s love poured out. CD shared with the group tonight that he had been feeling lost and afraid when Luis found him and he expressed his thankfulness for the kindness of this stranger turned spiritual mentor. Even though he wanted to come tonight and needed to, his day had been filled with distractions. He almost hadn’t made here tonight. He then cried out that he needed God very badly. He didn’t want to get drunk and didn’t know why it happened but wanted to stop. Men got on their feet forming a circle around him while the rest of us earnestly joined in prayer for CD to be set free from the addiction of alcohol and to find peace.

The Holy Spirit was empowering us to disciple and support each other. When I invited  Felix to sit by  the young man as he returned to his seat, I didn’t know that Felix had already prayed earlier that day  for God to send him someone for him to pour his life into.  “He’s my son now,” Felix said with tears in his eyes.  CD will have godly men like Luis and Felix checking up on him this week, praying for him and supporting him on his journey of recovery. Please join us in praying for him,too as he takes steps toward accountability and community.

And just as poignant for us was to see how God brought alive the Bible text that was our focus tonight.

Luke 5 :17 to 26  is the story of some men who brought a paralytic man on a mat and placed him  at the feet of Jesus.  CD became that story come alive. God is still in the business of using people to bring people into His healing presence. There are desperate times when we can’t do it for ourselves and need friends full of of faith to bring us to Jesus. Similar to what happened at the ending of Dr. Luke’s narrative,we walked away while expressing our awe at the remarkable things that God had done tonight at our HoPE meeting.