Praying for Renewal

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The Prayer Summit is coming up!

I’d like to think of it as just one part of a growing pattern of prayer in the CRC. Many classes have Prayer Coordinators or Prayer Leaders. Many congregations do as well. Could these prayer points be an embryonic prayer movement that could come to maturity in the CRC in the coming years?

This week emails will go to pastors and prayer leaders to encourage them to plan for the Prayer Summit. I see this effort as a coordinated way to encourage and equip congregations for more Spirit-filled life. Right now the CRC is wrestling with a declining membership, congregations with uncertain futures, pastors in burnout, and endless questions about how to re-structure ourselves for healthy mission. Some dimension of the challenge is financial; some dimension is the need for new leadership, some part of the challenge is missional, and some part is “the vision thing”.

Are we sensitive to the ways our organizational life needs to be infused by the daily renewal of life in the Spirit? Do council and committee meetings tune in to the Spirit to keep from becoming just busyness? Are classis meetings reflecting the church as the body of Christ, as well as displaying organizational efficiency and effectiveness? Is the denomination fully attuned to the wind of the Holy Spirit as we study our culture and our structure and our leadership?

Yes we pray, thank God that we do. Thank God he invites us to pray, and he faithfully hears. But I have to ask in the plethora of meetings, schedules, and busyness, and our anxiety about decline - are we together taking the time to pause, to tune in, to pray, to really listen, and to discern together the path of obedience?

In meetings of classis, are we able to keep steady in our stance of listening carefully to the whispers of the Breath? Are we leaving space to listen together? to ask together? discern together? Classis support of the upcoming Summit is an important step in becoming a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led denomination. If ever we are being called to prayer, it’s now. May God keep breathing his fresh breath into the CRC.

How are you and your classis preparing for the Prayer Summit?

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