Prayer and Invitation are two keys that will help our church grow into the church we’re called to be.
Prayer Nothing of lasting significance happens without prayer. That’s something I say often. Because it’s true! Prayer is basic and foundational to the life of the disciple and to any church that seeks the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew this, which is why he prayed. It’s why, when he taught his followers he never said ‘if’ you pray but rather ‘when’ you pray.
I was praying with someone in our church this week who felt they were called to be an intercessor - that is someone who spends significant time praying. Whilst we’re all called to pray, some are especially called to this. For some it’s for a season and others it’s for life. As I prayed, I sensed the Lord saying that he would sometimes wake them up in the night and at other inconvenient times, and ask them to pray. It was part of their intercessory call and that they should be obedient to his leading, as their prayers would make a big difference. I shared this with them. They then told me that the previous night that very thing had happened. The Lord had woken them at midnight and again at 3am to pray for certain things.
Why might God do that? The answer is that he wants people to pray! He wants women and men to call on him and cry out to him. Because change, and growth and transformation are linked to prayer. It’s not that we earn these things through our prayers. Prayer doesn’t work like that. It’s more that we co-labour with him in our prayers. We join in his work. Kris Vallotton puts it like this: ‘Prayer is the catalyst for worldwide transformation. It incites the angels, restrains the darkness, and releases nations into their destiny. It is the key to revival which builds the bridge between what should be and what will be.’
That’s why the devil will do anything to keep us from praying. Samuel Chadwick explained it like this, saying that Satan ‘fears nothing of prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.’
So if you want to see transformation in your life, in your family, in your city and in your region, you need to pray. If we are to see our church grow into the church we’re meant to be, we need to pray. So pray. On your own - as you kneel, or as you sit, or walk, or bathe, or ponder. With others - in the family, or in small groups, or in the House of Prayer. Pray.
Invitation As I read and re-read the stories of Jesus in the New Testament I’m struck by his invitations. On many occasions he used invitation as the means of calling people into his community, saying things like ‘come and follow me’. ‘Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ ‘If you’re thirsty, come to me and drink.’ On one occasion he even invited himself to someone’s home by saying: ‘come down from that tree, I want to come to your house’!
Invitation is the most simple way of helping your friends, family and work-colleagues begin the great adventure of following Jesus. You invite them. To something. To your home. To your small group. To your church service. You invite. Like Jesus, you say: ‘Come. Come and join me at church next weekend. Would you come and be my guest?’
There is great power in invitation. Jesus knew this. The early church knew this. Growing churches know this. They know that one simple invitation can change the trajectory of someone’s life! That’s why we need to not just pray but also to invite.
The church grows - in numbers, maturity and influence - as we do these two things. These two simple things can make a massive difference.
We pray and we invite.
Nothing of lasting significance happens without prayer.
'Prayer is the catalyst for worldwide transformation. It incites the angels, restrains the darkness, and releases nations into their destiny. It is the key to revival which builds the bridge between what should be and what will be' (Kris Vallotton).
...if you want to see transformation in your life, in your family, in your city and in your region, you need to pray.
Invitation is the most simple way of helping your friends, family and work-colleagues begin the great adventure of following Jesus.
... one simple invitation can change the trajectory of someone’s life!