Prayer - Distinctive #1

The first component is PRAYER in all of its different forms. Prayer should never be a guilt inducing chore but a freedom inducing process of experiencing the presence of God. If you feel guilty or dissatisfied about your prayer life then you are missing the point. Sometimes it is helpful to have a list of items to pray for, I use my list at different times in my prayer experience. And at other times, times while I am just steeping in the presence of God, simply resting in his presence, I trust him to know the things that are on my list and to continue working in each situation. (I always pray for my wife and kids!) The important thing is to dedicate some amount of time to knowing God through prayer each day. It is good to develop a habit with a regular time of prayer... especially if that is the way your personality works. The issue is to know yourself and how you best experience God. Now, to be honest, there is a sense of self-discipline in this matter but self-discipline is radically different than legalism, which is a routine or effort that is put on you by someone else. In the area of self-discipline, when we do not accomplish our goals, we are disappointed. When we are functioning in legalism, when we do not accomplish our goals, we feel guilty. Revelation 12:10 in Today’s New International Version says that Satan is the accuser of the brothers and sisters. Guilt is from the enemy (Satan) not from God.

In our fellowship we use 3x5 cards for our prayer time. Each individual writes a succinct, personal prayer request that is read to the group and is then prayed for by someone that desires to pray for that request. This is sometimes done in small groups within the house church meeting and other times it is done with the whole group. The cards are then collected and prayerfully handed, one card to each person in the group. That card becomes that individual's prayer commitment for the week. Throughout the week each individual prays for the person whose card they received and the request written on the card, asking God to minister in that situation AND asking that he would give them a prophetic word, an image / picture, or an impression for the person for whom they are praying. That prophetic word is then shared with the individual and with the group in the next weekly meeting. This builds faith in both individuals as well as the group. This builds understanding and confidence that God actually speaks to us!

Additionally, our goal is to have the individuals in our fellowship pray for the salvation of the world and for the salvation of their world. One suggestion for praying for the world is to go to Operation World's web site - http://www.operationworld.org/prayer-calendar. Operation World has a prayer calendar with a daily prayer focus for different nations around the world. The site gives basic demographic information, religious demographic information, and then a suggestion for how to pray for the salvation of that nation. We also want everyone to pray for the salvation of their world. We want each individual to identify two or three people in their world that do not yet know Jesus. We then want each weekly prayer partner to pray specifically for the two or three individuals written on their prayer commitment card. In time we will be looking for a way to bring these people before our whole group for corporate prayer. We feel that these daily prayer efforts - for one person in our fellowship, for the world, and for our individual world - our two or three friends that do not yet know Jesus – are critical efforts in our discipleship journey that we at Streams are taking together.

© Dave Powell 2014