If we are to see our nations changed by local congregations, we must all grow in confidence in sharing our stories of what Jesus has done for us. We must create a culture of confidence in the gospel. We must be disciples who make disciples. And I believe that prayer has a key role in developing such a culture.
I would like to make a couple of suggestions that we can all put in place that I think can help move us all forward.
Firstly – praying in our community
One of the most beneficial things that I did as a pastor was to suggest that the leadership, and anybody else who would come, would prayer walk around our community. We would meet in the church hall. We worshipped and ask God to grant us insight and knowledge about our area. Then in twos we would walk around various streets, chat to folks and try and get a sense of both the blessings and challenges in our community. We would then meet back at church and write what we felt on large sheets.
What was God saying?
Were there any Scriptures that came to mind?
How could we make more effective bridges with those around us?
We found that doing this regularly helped us get a better perspective upon what doors God was opening and how we could effectively share the good news of Jesus.
Secondly – putting up a white board in the place where your church prays together.
Anyone is free to put names up on the board, perhaps not full names for confidentiality, these are names of those we long to see encounter the Lord Jesus. The board is left in a prominent position and everyone is asked to take a minute when passing to pray for one of the names on the board.
Thirdly – creating a story telling culture
As we pray God works and we begin to see conversations grow. People become more open to chat about spiritual things. Not in every case but in some there is a softening of hearts. It’s important that people get to share their stories, stories of answered prayer lead to greater prayer. Also when those praying hear of answered pray hope rises. There is huge power in testimony and many of us have crammed our congregational life with so much activity, we have not given space for story telling.
Hearing of God at work through all of us helps create a culture where we all feel involved, and more able to contribute to the evangelistic calling of every community of faith. Many of us feel that we are not able to share our faith. We think that is only for professionals. However, when we see and hear of God at work we begin to discover that we all have a part to play.
I believe God is calling all of us to grow in confidence in the power of the gospel. Both churches and communities change when we begin to pray for the lost, share our story and love our community, keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.