Friday, September 23, 2011

High Five Prayers.... what if?

One of the individuals in my life who has spoken loudly without raising his voice is a guy named Randy Craker.  Among many things I remember him challenging us to be praying for people in our lives who didn't know the love and grace of God.  Oh, they might know about it, but they'd not experienced it personally.  He challenged us to pray for five individuals hence the five.  High five because he figured these prayers would be in the very center of God's will.

That all leads me to where I find myself today!  I'm living in a community where less than 20% of the people are part of any community of faith.  One in Five.  I look up and down my street and I begin to pray for them, for all of them.  As I pray I pray for my witness in their lives.  I'm praying they see Jesus, even in me. 

Let me so bold as to suggest you join me in this.  Imagine the difference it would make, if together we began to intentionally pray for even just FIVE individuals who need Jesus?  Remember Jesus changes lives and quite often in the process our lives are changed as well. 

Perhaps this is why Paul said what he said in his letter to the church at Colossus.

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Colossians 4:2-6

There's something we can "high five" right?  Something we can agree on! 

I wonder... do you know individuals in the community where you live who need Jesus? Add them to your "High Five" prayer list.  Why not pray for them and then see where God leads... remembering that your "conversations with them should always be full of grace, seasoned with salt."  I love that!  Did you notice the focus on grace?  Anyway, I wonder where our prayers might lead us.  

Here's another question.  Do you know individuals in Ireland who need Jesus?  Add them to your "High Five" prayer list. Then pray for them, for us and for God to work in their lives.  You might even shoot us an email to praying@missioneire.com We'd commit to joining you in prayer.  While you're at it, feel free to send us your whole "High Five" prayer list and we'll pray for you and them, together.

If you'd like to join me in praying for my "High Five" list... email me and I'll send it!

I wonder.... what might happen... if we "devoted ourselves to prayer"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a prayer walk in Wicklow...

This morning we walked into Wicklow with the students from NTS.  We have two students, who are helping us make inroads into this community.  There names are Ryan Robbins and Stephanie Borden.  It's good to have them here.

Anyway, the idea was to walk through various parts of this community asking God to give us HIS eyes, asking God to give us HIS heart for these people then at the end of our time we'd meet at Halpin's Bridge Cafe(one of our favorite places) for a hot drink and good conversation about our time.


I barely got started when I received a call from my son who had been in a slight accident at school.  I went and picked him up and then took him to our home before traveling back down into town.  Thankfully he was okay!  As I returned to town and began my walk I began praying, asking God to help us reach this community.  It was about that time I noticed the walls.  Everywhere I walked there were walls.  It wasn't the image I was looking to embrace.  I mean, walls are barriers.  Yet there they were!  Everywhere!  I began praying about those barriers and overcoming them, talk about overwhelming.  How can you breech these barriers?

It was just about then that I began to notice something else.  These stone walls were overwhelmed by vegetation.  Everywhere I looked there was something green, sometimes even growing out of the wall.  That reminded me of some words from the pen of Paul,

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
       “For your sake we face death all day long;
       we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord"  Romans 8:37-39

As we, as you, look around there may be all sorts of barriers, but GOD is able to overcome, much like that greenery.

May God help us to patiently love the people he brings into our lives, as HE has loved us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"little is BIG when God is in it..."

I want to do big things for God!  I want to see things happen today... Significant things!

I'm guessing I'm not alone.  Yet I wonder if in all our looking for something big we miss the seismic rumbling of God at work going on around us, changing everything.  I'm reminded of Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born.  Most everyone missed it!  As the people gathered complaining about the oppression of Rome, hoping a deliverer would come to free them from the tyranny of Rome, there in a stable the Savior of the world was taking his first breath. 

I don't want to miss what God is doing!  I don't want to miss the ways God is working, big ways that at the outset may not look big, but in reality are huge.  I'm reminded of the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel.  There's no getting around that HUGE story... but I'm thinking of something later where Elijah has fled for his life to the mountain of God.

Here the "LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  (1 Ki 19:11–13). TNIV

I'm challenging myself to look for God at work in the small things. In the conversations, the appointments, the chance encounters I have today.  As I speak with the butcher, the newsagent, the GARDA(police) the barista...  Lord help me to recognize the rumblings of your Spirit at work.  Help me to not miss YOU, or the opportunities YOU provide.

Remember, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Lk 17:20–21).