We are so aware of our mortality and humanity now, but God has not left us to our own devices to stumble and stagger along by ourselves. He has come alongside us to help us in our vulnerability and frailty by His Spirit. It is incredible that even as we try to handle the mystery of prayer, He does our praying in us and for us, when all we’re capable of is wordless sounds. He not only knows us better than ourselves, but keeps us present before God – and here is the result, the reality of God’s will becomes the longing of our hearts – Romans 8
In a 25 minute drive in an Uber recently, I was able to lay the Gospel out clearly to Nitish, my Sikh driver. Every word I sensed, came from the Spirit. The driver listened intently. Nitish had badly damaged his wrist, which was heavily bandaged. At the end of the ride, I laid hands on his wrist and simply prayed for healing. Nitish was healed; I prayed again, and he was able to move his wrist in a complete rotation. “Oh my God,” he exclaimed. Oh My God indeed, our Father in heaven hears our prayers.
This week we were able to train around 20 people in disciple making here in Sydney, and go out on the streets with them for a few hours. We have been praying intensively for some time. We spent time before the day, walking around our Housing Commission estate, praying that God would move the darkness, that his light would shine in. In the past, we have had difficulty getting to speak to people, but this time it was different. We felt courageous, and were able to speak with, pray and share with more than a dozen people. There are many to follow up. A breakthrough has occurred.
On the streets, trembling believers gained confidence in praying and sharing with complete strangers – 2 gave their hearts to Christ, there are many to follow up. We hope an army of ordinary believers, empowered by the Spirit through prayer, will gather regularly and move out into the marketplace in obedience to their Lord. We keep praying as they must too.
In the last few months, prayer has been the key for some of the changes; we have become aware here, that if we want to see fruit, if we want to see change, if we want community transformed then we had better take prayer seriously. There is a ferocious enemy that will do all they can to prevent any of this happening; Daniel 11 makes that clear, as do the Gospels and letters. Prayer is the key.
Prayer that goes on into the night, prayer accompanied by fasting, prayer that moves deep into the throne room of heaven – prayer, heaven forbid, that you never want to end! We’ve just read Jerry Trousdales’ “Kingdom Unleashed” about massive church growth around the globe, and all of it is undergirded by serious, continuous, prayer.
This isn’t the prayer we have been used to or the prayer we see modelled in our churches in the West and we have lots to learn. This is prayer that is a way of life, prayer that is almost a constant state of being, prayer that is alive, at times loud, colourful, at others sombre, mournful even. It is prayer full of life, prayer in the Spirit. Jesus comes down and joins with us in our fight, in our daily lives to see the Kingdom of Heaven brought to this earth. We can learn methods, and tools of disciple making and they are useful – but above all, we can learn to pray, to bring down the very power of God to this earth so that His name be glorified, His Kingdom come and His will be done here.
Join with us, pray for us as we pray for you. It is the only way things will change, that we will see fruit. Can you sense the excitement? Dare to come to God in prayer, and watch him move.