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August 23

Thoughts after a Year at Westminster, Part 5: Prayer

Martha Grace Reece, an astute observer of church habits and trends has come to this conclusion:

After years of talking with pastors and laypeople in churches that are thriving, and in churches that are failing, I am clear the only way to do ministry successfully, to lead a church or to live a life in today’s United States is to pray deeply. We must hand ourselves over to God in clear-headed, accountable, non-naïve prayer. We need to rely on God as much for pragmatic guidance as we can stand! Without God vividly in the mix, we drift, life declines. (Unbinding the Gospel 2008)

At Westminster, we can talk about our plans for growth until we are blue in the face, but if God is not part of the discussion, then we’re rowing the boat in the wrong direction. And here’s the thing: God did not give us the gift of prayer so we could ask him to bless our plans. We have the gift of prayer to be in communion with God, to receive direction from him, and to discern his will for our lives and the life of the church. A praying church is not rowing in the wrong direction; a praying church has hoisted its sail and is operating under strength and power of the Lord.

Praying with and for you,

Daniel