All Saints Church is gathering for prayer every Wednesday night during the month of January. We realize with all the traffic issues, it may be difficult for everyone to join us. So, I am posting the prayer guide for you to join us virtually. We invite you to take a moment and pray with us.
Our theme for 2019 is Influence.
Week 1 | Ephesians 3:14-21
All Saints Church vision is to earn the right to influence all who believe, doubt and seek in Queen Anne and Seattle. That is to say, this week we will be praying for our church, neighbourhood, friends, and co-workers.
So I bow in prayer before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.20 With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.
- First, Read the passage two or three times.
- Now, let your mind and heart go to a place where you can feel the impact and meaning of the text.
- Which word or sentence did you feel the most impact?
- Use this word or sentence to fuel your prayer.
- Incorporate this word or sentence into your prayer for our Church, friends, co-workers, neighbours.
- Finally, let the Holy Spirit influence your mind and heart and think of a person, or cause and pray using these words.
Write out thoughts, pictures, or reminders of what your next steps are as you take action on your prayer.
Often, I get a bit angsty trying to understand my role in the church. I understand that my office is pastor, but I feel more often like a missionary to the city and neighborhood our church is part of. That being said, there are certain requirements with the office of pastor and one of those is spiritual leader. That does not mean guru, “know it all,” or resident authority on the lives of those who ask me a question about their spiritual life. It does mean taking responsibility and caring for people who identity as part of our church community.
From his Book, Practicing Greatness, Reggie McNeal points out some key disciplines that all spiritual leaders must develop, I have highlighted them here:
- The discipline of self-awareness – this protects leaders from being self-absorbed or merely role driven.
“The difficulty with which some spiritual leaders acknowledge their ambition to seek greatness betrays its motivation.” ~ Reggie McNeal (Practicing Greatness)
- The discipline of self-management – acknowledges that great leaders are great managers, not just of others, but, primarily of themselves. Failure to manage yourself leaves a leader vulnerable.
- The discipline of self-development – never stop growing. Leaders choose to not only grow through strength but also through failure.
- The discipline of mission – Leaders give themselves to great causes. They order their lives focused on their mission rather than allowing others to hijack their agendas or distracting them.
- The discipline of decision making – Great leaders consistently make good decisions, knowing how, when and what decisions need to be made.
- The discipline of belonging – Great leaders practice community but also make a conscious decision to belong to others. They belong despite the risk, b/c they know that to quit risking is to quit loving and that to quit loving is to quit leading in the spiritual arena.
- The discipline of aloneness – great leaders not only endure loneliness of leadership but to actually build solitude into their lives. They appreciate the depth of soul making that is possible only in solitude and heart to heart exchanges with their Leader.
These are challenging and incredibly rewarding. I believe all of them are necessary and yet, I certainly have some work to do. If you are leading a faith community make this book part of your library.