Have you ever been to a Christian Conference? Do you know that crossroads feeling of wanting to leave to share Jesus with everyone you encounter, whilst simultaneously enjoying the Christian bubble for the week? I know I certainly have.
Leaving an environment where everyone around you is fired up to see Kingdom Come can feel a little like the post-holiday blues. It’s easy to look back at the memories, flicking through the pictures and wishing you were back. It’s not so easy put into action the things you’ve got to do as a result of being away.
If we do not put into action the things we have learnt then the lessons become stagnant and unusable.
After a holiday, my least favourite things to do are unpacking and laundry. Leaving all the things I’ve used in the suitcase feels like a much better option when I’m comfortable and rested after a long trip. But anyone who’s left anything in a suitcase for too long will know that the clothes lose their freshness, they begin to come stagnant and you definitely can’t wear them. In order to be worn and used, they must be cleaned and maintained.
After a Christian Conference, it’s easy to treat everything you’ve learnt like an unwashed laundry pile. If we do not put into action the things we have learnt then the lessons become stagnant and unusable. We need to find a way to maintain all that we have learnt and encountered and put it into practice. One way to do this? Prayer.
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.”
The high of a Christian conference, an events week, or a mission trip can be sustained through prayer. When the Christian bubble is popped and life gets busy, prayer compels us to refocus. Prayer calls us to a higher purpose. Prayer gives insight into God’s heart for the people around us.
Prayer gives insight into God’s heart for the people around us.
It’s in the secret place of prayer that the Father can sustain the lessons learnt in a conference, where He can whisper His truth when we lose focus, and where He can reignite the commission to make disciples. It’s with the power of prayer that we gain insight into where we fit into Jesus’ plan to transform our cities and campuses.
Prayer means we don’t have to wait for the conference experience or the events week, but instead means we can focus and engage in everyday evangelism.
I like to think of prayer as the washing machine.
Every time a piece of clothing needs freshening up, we put it in the washing machine.
Every time our calling to share Jesus needs freshening up, we spend some time in prayer.
Prayer refreshes us daily and helps to keep us fit for purpose.
So how can we keep our prayer lives fresh?
- Commit to praying for a couple of friends to know Jesus:
Dedicate time in your day to praying for a couple of friends who don’t know Jesus. Maybe it could be when you’re walking to work? Maybe when you’re brushing your teeth? Having an allocated time will not only bless them as you contend for them but help to keep a missional mindset as you go about your day.
- Get a prayer buddy:
Having a person to pray with will help you to keep a consistent routine. Why not commit to praying once a week at 8am to start the day? Or pioneer a fortnightly prayer evening for your campus? A buddy will not only help you to remain accountable but will also encourage you that you’re not the only one praying for transformation!
- Learn to enjoy prayer!:
When it’s the first thing in the morning and your bed is comfortable, prayer doesn’t feel like the priority (we’ve all been there), find something that helps you to enjoy prayer more. Perhaps it’s buying a prayer journal? Perhaps it’s as simple as preparing a good cup of coffee? Perhaps it’s praying during an evening walk? Finding something you enjoy will help you to get into a sustainable rhythm.
Let prayer be your washing machine. Next time you do your laundry, remember that mission isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle, and one that you can be a part of.
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