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Praying the disciple's prayer can be scary and very challenging. But to truly be a disciple of Jesus Christ it must be prayed daily.

This past Sunday night we held a prayer service at the church with a concerted focus on not only the ministries of the church but also the concerns of our community. The final part of the service was spent in small group prayer where the church divided into groups of 4 or 5 and were led through a number of areas to prayer. The focus of that small group prayer time was revival beginning with our own changed hearts.

I received some interesting responses afterward on that particular portion of the service. A number of people found it difficult to pray that the Holy Spirit would instill in them a passion for the lost in their lives and places where they live. To pray that prayer can be scary when your focus on being a disciple has been more about being a faithful church attender than to follow Jesus into the big bad world to share the Gospel.

Praying that prayer is opening yourself up to a whole lot of scary uncertainty not to mention what could and most certainly will be a big change in your spiritual character. In essence that prayer says, "God, radically change me so that I hurt when you hurt and have the deep desire to reach out to people who may be opposed to you or your message, people who might be hurting or oppressed or antagonistic to the truth. Put me out there God to live the Great Commission."

That prayer confronts us with our Jonah syndrome that we want nothing to do with the Ninevites in the world -- THOSE people -- and would rather see them go to hell. To pray that prayer tells God we're willing to be open to whatever he has for us and whoever he brings across our path. But most of all that prayer tells God we're open to change because we want his will to be done in the world, humbly laying ourselves at his feet.

In short it's the disciple's prayer. It's one that every true disciple needs to pray. But for many it is the scariest prayer of all.

I came away from that evening with the very clear realization that that prayer needs to be prayed over and over in every church until people actually begin to change and begin reaching people with the GREAT NEWS of new life in Christ. And then we need to keep praying it still.

Now, could you imagine what it would be like if every small group kept praying that prayer? I see small groups being set on fire and growing exponentially thus growing the church and turning out committed followers of Jesus Christ -- real disciples.

'til next time.


AMEN... akd.  You da Man. 

"Ninevites" are part of God's redemptive people, as scary as they may look.  A real disciple doesn't sit under a shelter or a vine, he or she, gets in the sackcloth with the people, the king, and the animals and helps them find their right hand and their left hand.  Give me more sackcloth!

We definitely need to do a whole lot more sackclothing in our churches.  Besides our denomination not having evangelism in it's original DNA we have made discipleship into going to church, sending your kids to Sunday school and Christian School,  actually isolating ourselves from the real world and in so doing raising generations that haven't a clue how to really engage it with the Gospel.  But that's not discipleship -- just being a good churchy Christian.

People wonder why I'm out there networking with non-Christians and having a great time playing music and being available to students or participating in the Chamber of Commerce and the local homeless shelter.  Simple, it's what Jesus expects of us as disciples.  If we're going to be true disciples of Jesus he expects us to "SELL OUT"  for him.  And I'm trying to lead our church in that same direction.  There should be no such thing as the comfortable pew unless you've just spent your time reaching out to the lost and those in need and just need a little rest for your bones.  Bring on the sackcloth, we've got a lot of repenting to do.

Of course when I refer to "comfortable pew" I am referring to those who believe just coming Sundays is all you need.  It should also be comfortable for those who come weary and burdened and need rest for their souls.

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