Back in 2001 shortly after 9/11 I was talking with a friend – her name was Riki she was old enough to be my mother and she had a deep faith.
I asked her about how she was feeling about the current state of the world. Her answer gave perspective from a life and a faith that was rooted in someone much bigger than the current circumstances. She said “I feel safe and at peace, because nothing has really changed about God and His love for this world.” Then she said “I feel sad for all who were lost and I feel angry about the deception of those who were used to do violence.” “But, I prayed for them. And I told God I was angry”. She didn’t let the situation steal her faith but she also was in deep enough relationship with Jesus to let her know her feelings.
Prayer is a reflection of our belief about God and His involvement with his creation. Prayer is the language of a supernatural relationship. Prayer is our opportunity to let God know how we are feeling and what we would like him to do about it. Prayer is showing our dependence on God. It is an acknowledgement of need and that we in fact we are not God.
Over the last couple years Journey’s leadership and prayer team have been in conversation about steps we could take to cultivate prayer in our culture. Our prayer team has been faithful over the years of praying for Journey – but we wanted to broaden the reach.
When we opened the larger gathering space we wanted to be very intentional about reintroducing stations with various ways to respond to the message. Prayer came into focus in the summer of 2021. The invitation was given to write down your prayer requests and the staff would pray over those requests.
This very simple but profound shift has brought action to what we believe about God and prayer. We have learned what is on the hearts of people and the burdens they are carrying. We are not just talking about how to pray we are praying. The culture is shifting to a God dependent culture marked by a simple yet deep conviction that it matters that we pray for one another.
Praying is becoming the answer to the questions: What should we do next? How should we help? What do I do with my feelings? Needs? Problems? Doubts?
Involving God in life is to bring the greatest of all available power and love to bear on all our circumstances. It is to say I know my situation is bigger than me – But it is not bigger than God.
A culture of prayer is the deep desire of wanting to involve God in our lives and then to lean into the supernatural language of talking with him.
Kevin Dixon is the Lead Pastor at Journey Church in Brentwood, TN. He is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield IL.
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