by Peter Swann
It is a tough but honest truth of our Christian existence in the West that our priorities are often gravely misplaced.
This occurs because our paradigm is misaligned. And that occurs because the lens through which we see the world is generally more shaped by our context and church tradition than by Scriptural truth.
The great news is that the remedy is straightforward. There is something we can do about it. And we’re going to.
Ephesians 6 tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood. That being the case, we are called to be a praying people. It’s not optional. It’s not something we do when we feel like it. And it’s not something we do when there’s nothing else we can do.
It’s convicting to me that believers under great suffering or persecution are those who pray the most fervently. They are cornered and desperate, and this forces them to properly align their paradigm and resulting practice. Not generally given the same suffering or persecution in the West, we have to rely almost exclusively on the biblical reality of Ephesians 6 and the rest of Scripture to set us straight.
When we launched Hope Church, it was with the conviction that if we failed at any area, it wouldn’t be in the area of prayer. This stems exclusively from the depth of the above conviction. Yet it’s challenging, it’s hard. We are a busy people, and the weight of our context and experience pushes against us. I’m longing for much more in my own life, and I think we all are. We yearn to pray in a way that would properly reflect the truth and reality of our spiritual war.
So, this month, we’re going to take dead aim at this. We’re going to pick off one key prayer each week. And with great joy and expectation, we’re going to go after this hard.
Here’s how it’s going to work. First, we’ll concentrate on the following prayers this month, warring for this for each of us individually and for us as a Hope family. We’re aiming to pray through Acts 4 with what the apostles so fervently prayed and lived out.
Week of January 6 Pray for ongoing daily time with God and weekly fasting (Acts 4:13)
Week of January 13 Pray for boldness in sharing the gospel & signs and wonders (Acts 4:29-30)
Week of January 20 Pray for a mighty filling of the Spirit (Acts 4:31)
Week of January 27 Pray for “normal Christianity” as found in the book of Acts (Acts 4:32-37)
Here is the expectation:
Commit to genuinely and fervently pray for the topic each day. No time limit or expectation – just an honest and raw time of going to war each day.
Commit to fast one meal a week. It can be any meal, but this is the time when you commit the longest amount of time to prayer, and when your prayer is the most fervent. If you are worried about keeping this, consider initiating with someone else so you hold each other accountable while warring together.
Enjoy the journey. And wait with anticipation of all God is going to do.
This past year, much of our journey through the book of Mark has centered on surrender to the lordship of Christ. With surrendered hearts, we now ask God to fill us and flow through us for the great advance of His Kingdom for His glory.
I’m incredibly fired up about this! This is exactly what we’re called to do. And this is what we’re about. And lives will shift as a result.
Are you in?