Everywhere I go it seems God is speaking to people about prayer. This is certainly true for me.
Before the Summer I preached from the book of Hosea, it was the first time I had preached through that book. The major lesson I learnt myself was that the reason God sent his people into exile, the sin they committed, was to rely on Egypt and Assyria to protect them rather than to rely on God. In preaching I challenged the congregation to consider whether we too were guilty of the same sin, rely on other things rather than God. The test, I suggested, was our prayer life. When we faced a challenge was our first thought to pray or was it to seek to solve the problem? I knew I didn’t always pass the test!
Following these preaches I spent some time with a team of Christians from Korea who spent a week in Luton. They were part of a larger team who had come to the UK to pray for our nation. I was powerfully impacted by their story and their example of prayer.
The leader shared about how the church in Korea had learnt over the years to trust in God and give a high priority to prayer. This was in the face of massive challenges they had faced as a nation and a church. As a result, his team on mostly middle-aged women who could not speak English, were happy to pay their own fares, sleep on church hall floors because they wanted to pray. And pray they did. It was amazing to be prayed for personally, and then see them faithfully pray for other church leaders for over an hour. To hear of them praying every night, until the early hours for our nation.
In response to these challenges I am adjusting my prayer life, small manageable steps that I feel I can sustain for the long term. I started by taking my daily prayer time with God more seriously, I then started praying with others one morning a week and then quickly added a second morning. I have now increased that to three mornings.
As I have started to pray more I have found my appetite for pray has increased. It is becoming such a joy to be able to rely on God rather than immediately seek to solve every problem myself. I keep looking ofr more opportunities to pray.
If you too feel God speaking to you about prayer can I encourage you to respond with small manageable steps. If you would like to join me in prayer I am praying every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings between 9.30am and 10am; and Sunday mornings between 9.45 and 10.15am at Hope Church Centre, Villa Road. I realise these times do not work for everyone, but they work for me!
Written by Tony Thompson