Monday, July 09, 2007

Encouraging Prayer

Aleta and I are moving to Arizona in three weeks. A new friend who's shoulder-deep in house church planting emailed this encouraging prayer to me today.

Dear Jesus, May you guide John and Aleta as they seek to serve you. Bless the work of their hands. Lord, they are uprooting themselves, just like Abram and Sarah, so that they can serve you in a new place. Honor that move with a powerfully fruitful ministry. Keep them close to you. Protect them. Give them many people of peace who will not only become lynch-pins in their ministry, but open the way for them to become vital parts of their new community.

Give them favor with this new community. Allow them to become viewed as the "go to people" for spiritual issues. May they be known as the ones who know God and who have a powerful God who answers prayer. Allow them to be your ministers with callouses on their hands but not on their hearts.

May they both become Jesus in skin for this new community. Allow the gospel to flow from them in ever widening circles to more and more oikoi. Give them more fruit than they would ever dare to ask for. Give them more churches and new Christians than they could ever even dare to ask you for. Give them a viral movement of the Spirit that makes the gospel and new churches contagious.

Jesus, they will need church planting partners with apostolic gifting. Give them many workers in the harvest as they pray through Luke 10:2. Give them houses of peace and people of peace as they pray through Luke 10:5-6. Mature their ministry to the point that they become an apostolic father and mother to many young apostles who go out and plant many generations of churches.

Give them most of their resources from the harvest including new apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Mature this ministry so that it becomes a missions sending ministry that sends fresh apostles all over the world.

Finally Lord, give them your supernatural gifts so that people can see the power of Jesus through them, not just hear the words about Jesus. Allow them to heal through the laying on of hands. Cast out evil spirits through the authority they have through you. Lord, you can even raise the dead through them. Prophesy through them and use these prophecies to gain them credibility in their new neighborhood. Allow them to see many signs, wonders and miracles just like you are doing everywhere else you are starting house churches.

Allow all of this to happen through the resources you are going to give them by your provisioning hand. Do it because you love them. Do it because you delight in them and delight in giving gifts to your beloved children. Amen.

"Father, may You credit this prayer to all those who read this and are striving for the same missional obedience we earnestly desire. May we all find such Christ-likeness and provision as we seek to know you more and follow you in everything."

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