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Not pushing praying

by on April 10, 2011

There’s nothing quite like a mission team’s prayer meeting. The word that comes to mind is purposeful. Everyone’s involved in outreach, everyone has a common goal, everyone knows what’s been happening for everyone else. And we pray for each other. We pray with a purpose. Whatever’s come up we  try to pray over. Whatever openings or opportunities we have. Sometimes there’s not enough time for all the prayers we want to pray.

This has an effect on our mission work that I hadn’t predicted. It takes the pressure out of it. If we meet someone new in Canterbury, we don’t have to win them over on the spot. When we see the people we know, we don’t feel like we have to find ways to ‘bring the conversation round’ – you know. We don’t need to take relational risks all the time, milking every opportunity to speak for all it’s worth. We can relax and be ourselves. We don’t need to push, because we know we’re praying. We might not have got far, but we just think, ‘Oh, we’ll bring it to the prayer meeting.’

We’re not very good at prayer yet – we’re just learning how to do mission this way. But already our team members can walk away from a house they’ve visited, and think, ‘next time I visit you, we’ll have prayed over you, and God will have been working. He can make the opportunities, he’ll set the pace.’ It makes us feel the need to pray, and even want to pray (!)

And God does set the pace. We’ve allowed ourselves the first year just to make friendships, without expecting to be talking to people much about Jesus. With most people that means we gradually get to know them better. Brilliant. But already sometimes, people talk to us. They want to read the bible, they want to find a church, they want to visit ours. They talk about Jesus. Sometimes God’s pace is faster than ours.

It’s a mission approach I’ve never tried before, we’re just beginners really, but so far I’m liking it. All the pushing is done in the prayer meeting, pleading with God. The rest of the week is… pretty relaxed!

From → General

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