What a whirlwind this has been so far. I think I believed that this conference was going to be more missional theory… but it’s not. In fact, this conference is about moving from theory to action, or as Ed Stetzer so aptly put it, it’s about getting off our blessed assurance and doing something. We must act. I am inherently lazy.
I do not have a passion for people. Not really. I go through the motions hoping that the motions will somehow stir up passion. This is wholly wrong. The missing ingredient? Prayer. Today, Dave Gibbons said, “If prayer isn’t a central part of your life your not dependent on the Holy Spirit, your dependent on your own power.” This is me. Prayer is not a central part of my life. In fact, I would go so far to say that prayer is mostly an afterthought or something I do because I know I should… not because I recognize its necessity.
If I were to list the single most important thing that is missing in my walk, it would be a life that is devoted to prayer. Wow – what’s amazing to me is that cerebrally, I know what I’m missing. Power and insight and passion and the ability to live the Gospel in everyday life – these are all impossible without a life devoted to prayer. Church makes it so easy to live without praying – we create language that is easily mimicked, we congratulate people for shallow confession, we empathize with people for the smallest difficulty. This creates a comfortable, easily accessed, and watered down life. After all, a little good is better as long as they’re coming to church, right?
My prayer, yes – I mean that, is that I would be a man of prayer. I pray that this revelation would soak into the core of my being so that going without prayer would be unfathomable to me because I recognize how desperately I need Him to open my ears and my eyes and to empower me to glorify Him. Help me Lord to be a man whose life is devoted to prayer so that I would wholly rely on you for my very breath, every word that comes from my lips, and every act of my hands.
Hopefully, you see in these writings a man who is staying The Course and pursuing The Path amidst the pitfalls and selfish ways of being a son of Adam. I pray earnestly that my writing would encourage some of you by showing you that this journey - though arduous and sometimes tragic - is a journey of great satisfaction. A satisfaction greater than our greatest imaginings. The trials and refining fire of tribulation are to be recognized as a small shadow of the suffering of our Savior so that we can rejoice, as Peter and the disciples did, to be counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Name.