Post one in this series was about how and why Awaken will value and keep Jesus at the center of all we do.
Post two and the second core value of Prayer was also discussed at the first Gathering Event on the 11th of July (btw-another coming this weekend. All invited, lunch will be served, and core value #3 will be discussed). Prayer is such an interesting thing with so many varied responses to the topic. Some people believe in it, others have never experienced God in prayer. Some see it as a way to plead with God for what they want, others see it primarily as a way to shape their own character. Some love it, some can’t sit still long enough to do it even if they wanted to. Bottom line, there’s a lot to said about prayer, and much has been written about prayer.
Here’s what we know at Awaken_
1. We believe God is accessible to us in and through prayer. The scriptures teach us that God makes Himself available to us and we can approach Him without fear but rather with confidence because of Jesus. At Awaken, it’s really important for us to be the church IN OUR CONTEXT, and we believe the Spirit of God is at work in the world in all sorts of ways. Prayer is one of the most important ways that we as a church will be in tune with heart of God.
2. Prayer is as much about listening as it is about speaking. Often prayer is seen as a means by which we/I make our requests known to God. At Awaken we want to challenge that and say that prayer is as much about us quieting our hearts/minds enough to hear God speak, move, prompt his church.
3. We expect God to meet us in prayer. Furthermore, we expect to see God move through prayer. Scripture says that we have not because we ask not. Of course we know this is not a license to ask God for whatever you want and then expect that God HAS to give it because you asked for it. Rather this is more about a posture and hearts position being one of expectation and anticipation. It’s about having hearts in tune with the Jesus way, with the Kingdom, with the way things ought to be and ultimately it’s about deep faith and conviction that God wants those things too.
We closed our time with a time of silence and waiting, followed by each person being challenged to write their hopes/dreams/prayers for Awaken on a piece of paper. As Ben (one of our resident musicians/artists) played quietly on his acoustic creating space for us, we listened to those prayers read aloud for the whole community. For me, it was powerful! To hear God’s Spirit at work in the hearts of this people that God is in the midst of creating was beautiful. To see God weaving our hearts together with passions and hopes so that there is ONE heartbeat called Awaken which is in fact beating right with God’s for this community was inspiring to say the least. You really ought to come to this next week if you missed the last Gathering Event. Even if you’re not committed to Awaken, or just checking things out, or if you’re “all in”, please know there is a seat at the table for you.
1. Anyone have a story or experience with prayer they want to share?
2. Why do we find it so difficult to pray?
3. Has anyone felt an increase in appetite for prayer since we started praying more and talking about it more?
Join the discussion on the Awaken Facebook Page.