The One Thing: Intolerable Prayer
In the coming year, I believe there is one thing that, in all our doings, we should do. Beneath this is the assumption that the gospel is working, from the pulpit, in our groups, and in our conversations. While we can always grow, we are on a good trajectory here. I also assume that our community is on a good trajectory. Again, while we have room to grow, we are on a good path. Word and fellowship - both are on God-centered trajectories.
That leaves one other means of grace - prayer. So yes, the one thing is prayer. But not just any kind of prayer. The best way I can put it is intolerable prayer, or intolerant prayer.
By “intolerable” or “intolerant”, I don’t mean intolerance in the way it is presently used in our culture. I mean it instead as referring to a burden that you come to find intolerable. And then, upon receiving such a burden, you and I would respond in prayer, for God to move and change that intolerable thing which burdens us.
This is how all revivals begin, big and small, large-scale and personal.
And it is where much resisting of the Spirit of God happens. God gives us a burden, and we ignore it. We drown it in a sea of TV-watching, busy-ness - anything really.
So we must beware resisting Him. God could just change the world by speaking it so. But He now condescends to use us, that His glory would increase. So then, for the things that burden Him, He burdens us - by His Spirit. He does not burden everyone the same way: some are burdened, finally, by that longstanding sin; others are burdened that human trafficking is happening right here in our valley; others are burdened about the lack of affordable housing; others are burdened by that coworker who does not know the Lord. These sanctified, holy burdens come from the Lord; we pray; and we act, relying on Him; and we see Him move; and when He moves we see it and glorify Him.
So my call to you, and to myself, is to first ask God to burden us, with the things that burden Him. To see the world they way He sees it. Second, that upon feeling these burdens, that they would become intolerable to us, and would drive us to our knees, to seek His face, wisdom, power and leading. And thirdly, that in our praying, we would move - gathering others, to truly fulfill our shared values:
We aspire to be a joy-filled community that treasures God in Christ supremely, obeys the Bible completely, loves one another selflessly, and spreads the gosel intentionally.