The paragraph below was written in September by one of the pastors I mentor, doing a great job of recruiting prayer, weekly, from outside his congregation, for revival in his own heart, and in the dwindling, revival-resistant congregation he began pastoring 18 months ago, with little progress to report. And below that, an October report.
–WeakDave, recruiting prayer for himself and those he influences, that Jesus might be making such a difference in our lives right now, that believers and pre-believers around us are wowed and want Jesus to do the same in them
“I’ve been reading through Nehemiah and one thing has struck me very clearly. Nehemiah was a man of prayer, and he prayed because the assignment he had was impossible. He was a very talented guy and he had abundant resources. Yet, he was about the task of building more than simply a wall. He was attempting to bring spiritual renewal to a people who had not learned their lessons from their previous captivity. He was also opposed by enemies of God’s people. His task was WAY beyond him. So, he prayed, and then he worked hard. He prayed while he worked. He prayed after. I am a man of gifts and resources. They may not be much, but they are enough for me to trust in all too quickly. I am assigned a task that is impossible. I am involved in leading a church into renewal and into bringing the Kingdom of God to a dark, desolate world. It will require MUCH work. In light of this, why do I not pray more? I know it sounds spiritually mature for me to ask people to pray that I would pray more. I need more than that. I need you to pray for repentance. I think I am more capable than I am. I think I am smarter than I am. I think I am good enough with people, much more than I actually am. I am enough in myself. Give me a little ministry success and a little encouragement from church folks, and those ideas sink even deeper into my heart. That is scary. In reality, I am the deluded fool.”
“I am thankful today for what my Father has been doing lately, and I know your prayers have contributed to this. Let me fill you in. Our church is no longer on the brink of bankruptcy. Last year at this time we are wondering if we would have to sell our property. That is no longer in the conversation. We finished the year in the black (income vs. expenses), and we were closer to budget than we have been in YEARS! Our attendance is trending upward. People are not leaving any more like they were for the first 1 ½ years I was here. There is a positive atmosphere in the church that was not here when we got here. People’s lives are being changed by the Spirit. One of my deacons is giving a testimony during worship this Sunday of the Spirit’s work in his life. I don’t think this is what you would call a ‘Holy Ghost Revival’…yet. I think the Spirit is at work, and I am very encouraged.”