I know that sounds obvious enough but too often my prayer times are rushed by other obligations. Too often I ask and ask and ask God for things but I seldom listen to what he wants from me. Prayer "meetings" often become a time of gossip or simply heart felt sharing instead of Spirit led, two-way communication with God. Whatever the problems are with my approach to prayer I learned last week (more accurately it was confirmed to me last week) that God has surrounded me with a leadership team that understands the NEED for humble, worshipful and extended times of prayer.
As many tangible things as God did in the first 6 months of our ministry here in Tacoma it seems things have slowed down that much in the last 6 months. My family, our team and our church have been spiritually attacked from all angles and we have realized that we are nothing without the leading of the Holy Spirit and the confidence that being in his will is enough... results are up to him. With that in mind I felt compelled to have a guided time of prayer at the beginning of our leadership team meeting last Thursday. When I told everyone we would be spending more time in prayer than the usual "opening" and "closing" of the meeting, there was an excitement and a bit of relief that filled the air. Everyone knew we needed to spend some time together with Jesus... completely submitted to him.
I've shared with a couple of people since that night that I have been guilty in the past of determining whether or not I would pray allowed in a prayer meeting based on the time, other things on the agenda and how many others were praying for a particular thing. My leadership team does not share that struggle. We prayed through multiple areas and topics from repentance to revival and it seemed that every topic led to multiple prayers being voiced by each individual with no regard to time or schedule.
I don't say this with pride but with humility because I did not lead out in this. The leaders were God's people, our team, burdened to speak to God and hear from God because we have no where else to turn. I share this because it was powerful, peaceful and beautiful. As we prayed, minutes turned into hours and the agenda went out the window. We never did get to the "meeting," but for once we did not miss prayer, communication with and worship of our God.
When was the last time you truly prayed with no pre-determined end? I'm convinced that is where revival is birthed and awakening begins. All glory to God through his son Jesus!