I had 2 different prayer experiences today. They illustrated 2 different sides of prayer.
The first was with the other pastors. We gathered to pray over each of the COMMITMENT CARDS that Journey people signed at the end of the DANGEROUS series (January). We are a little slow on this, the main reason (excuse?) being Journey Up 2.0. Nonetheless, we were on it today!
For you non-journey-ites, a part of our strategy in laying out the year is to begin the calendar year with a series on growth, spiritual disciplines & practices that help us receive & experience more of God’s grace in our lives. Although there is far more to it than this, we boil it down to some of the basics & covenant together to practice any or all of the following disciplines
√ DEVOTIONAL TIME – some kind of focused time seeking God in prayer & the scriptures
√ TITHING – giving to God the 1st 10% of my flow
√ COMMUNITY – being meaningfully connected in some sub-group at Journey, where I can know & be known.
√ SERVING – finding a place in which I can serve with my time & energy.
√ BEGINNINGS – if you haven’t begun with Jesus, let’s get it started.
Some time after we get the cards turned in (there are hundreds – 800+) we set aside a time to pray over each card individually, by name & according to the commitments each person made. It’s frankly hard, but sweet. Many of the people you don’t know by name. Many people are taking some serious faith steps in signing that card. It’s cool to see people who you know are new to Jesus commit themselves to a lifestyle of pursuit of the grace of God.
I prayed that God would meet people IN the disciplines. I prayed that he would reward them WITH HIMSELF. I asked that they would have grace to DO the practices & find grace IN the practices. I prayed that the gospel would be the mustard seed that it is & it would find itself the largest plant in the garden of their (our) lives.
Now the other one: Later that day, Mike & I went to pray over Carl. He is quite sick & frankly needs a miracle. He lives in a house on Mt Helix with one of the best views I’ve ever seen on. It was a gorgeous San Diego day & when we arrived we could see from Mexico to Mt Soledad. It seemed to lend a slight worship vibe to us as we rolled in. We had a great time praying & I sensed much faith in the room. As most of you know, Mike (Mike Burns our lead pastor & founder of Journey) has suffered & does suffer greatly battling all kinds of sickness. I sensed a softness in him that I don’t have in those moments that comes from someone who is more acquainted with sickness and pain than I. It was a cool time of anointing & prayer.
Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.