The clarion call from the Spirit to the superintendent over the past few years has been PRAY. We seek to fulfill the Great Commission and be a Great Commandment people. We develop plans regularly to win souls and build projects and impact our communities. And sometimes we pray. Usually we pray. But rarely without ceasing, and often not as a first order priority. The primal spiritual act is communion with God, conversation with our maker, even as in the garden Adam is not seen writing laws or laying out strategic gardening plans, but rather conversing with God. The act of willful transgression against the Creator warped the relationship so that clear conversational communion no longer defined the human-divine interaction. But that is brokenness, not optimal existence. Christ came to reverse the curse and through the Spirit with us, above us and in us, we have amazing open access to our Abba once again.
In my annual dialogues with pastors I have found that almost half of us do not pray daily in much more than a perfunctory fashion. Seasons of fasting and seeking after God’s face for our souls, the souls of others and the spirit-led direction of our churches is the exception, not the rule. We are, many say, too busy to pray. Fasting, say others, is just not “my thing.” Yet God has called us into a synergistic relationship with Him so that we can accomplish more together than alone. God, in Divine wisdom has chosen to accomplish His work on earth through the spirit-led hands and feet of human beings called into relationship with Him. There is no other way revealed in Scripture.
We must pray. Pray first. Pray together. Pray daily. Praise God for abundant and manifold blessings – even those which arise through suffering. Repent of lackadaisical attitudes, outright sins of commission, silence toward injustices in our midst and sometimes perpetuated by our own attitudes. Ask in order to receive – spiritual power, provision for ministry, clarity of direction, miracles of healing and empowered gifting from on high. Yield to the promptings of the Spirit either made clear in Scripture, through the counsel of Spirit-led partners and even (WE PRAY!) through the direct witness of the Spirit to our innermost selves.