I’m learning what it means to be quiet before the Lord.
I recently planted a church, and life is becoming a lot busier for me—meeting with new believers, doing sermon prep, discipling leaders. I often become anxious about things I can’t control. I’m learning that when I’m worried, I need to turn to the Lord in prayer. Out of everything I need to do as a church planter, my prayer life needs to be the most important thing. I believe every Christian needs to build their life on a foundation of prayer.
Many Christians view prayer as a request to be heard and answered. That’s not necessarily wrong, but I’m finding that many times the “answer” or the “reward” of prayer does not come from a direct answer to that request. Rather, the reward is in the process of prayer itself! Here are three ways prayer helps you grow.
1. Prayer solidifies your identity.
In Matthew 6:6, Jesus says: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Every morning, I wake up to pray. I don’t always have a list of prayer requests that I recite. Rather, I start by thanking the Lord for the breath that I have to live this life. I adore in his Word and in his presence as his child. Knowing God gives me the confidence to do what I need to do in my church plant. What an exciting life when you are living for the LORD!
2. Prayer affirms your need for community.
My private prayer life allows me to see the need to be around others. Whether it be with my wife, children, church community, or the community where I live, I don’t just exist to live for myself but for others. Just like God dwells in the Trinity, I see that my private life is not enough. I need the community to speak into my life and see where I need to grow constantly.
3. Prayer matures you.
My prayer life matures me. I believe that the older you get, the more perspective you gain in life. However, I do not believe that the older you get, the wiser you become. If we’re not spending time in prayer and in the Word everyday, we can get cynical with people and our outlook in life. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many pastors and believers not being able to shepherd others in a healthy manner because they themselves are wounded and do not know what it means to be healthy. My experience planting a church has made me more desperate for God. And in turn, I have seen myself grow in my intimacy with the Lord.
Written by Brian Na. Brian planted and pastors Cornerstone Church, a Resonate Global Mission church plant partner in New York.