Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This last Sunday as we were talking about the Jesus sending his 70 followers out to heal and proclaim the kingdom of God, (Luke 10) I gave the assembled congregation an assignment: to go out this week and find somebody (even if it is a scary thing to do) and ask them this (or some creative variation of this) question: “how can I pray for you?”
There are two important aspects to why, as a pastor, I give this assignment.
The first is most basic to the reason the church exists in the world today. Jesus created his church to fulfill his mission of salvation and redemption in the world. Going all the way back to the 12th chapter of Genesis, we are called to be a blessing to the world in which we live.
The second and related point is that when we experience doing his mission, when we reach out to others in Jesus’ name, we discover how joyful and life giving our faith truly is (read Luke 10:17).
If you weren’t there to hear the sermon, I want to encourage you to carry out this assignment anyway. Challenge yourself. (Maybe you already do this). Think and pray about who God might be calling you to ask and then ask them, “how can I pray for you this week?” Then, of course actually pray for them.
It works. I venture to say that almost all of us can think of a time when God answered our prayers in some amazing way.
I was reminded this week of my friend Bruce Quick, who, 4 years ago, was facing the end of his life because of a degenerating heart. He needed a new heart but wasn’t sure if he would get one or if it would even work. For some reason I decided to pray boldly and in the midst of the prayer, I had a picture of Bruce playing with his grandchildren in the future. He didn’t have any at the time.
Well, Bruce’s story is an amazing one- too amazing to tell in a few words. But let me say that Bruce is a wonderfully graceful and faithful man, and to make a long story short, about 4 years after this prayer, he got to hold his granddaughter for the first time as she came into town for her baptism.
I am not taking any credit for saying the prayer that caused the miracle of Bruce’s healing and new heart. There are many whose story dooesn’t turn out like Bruce’s. But what Bruce and I can say is that we did pray and it worked and we both know God made it all happen. It is wonderful to watch God work!
So, pray boldly. Give God some room to work and you might just find some of the same joy those disciples did as they put their trust in Jesus and went out and ministered in his name.
Posted by Pastor Tim at 8:19 AM