Fourteen years ago, when I came to First Free as your Sr. Pastor, the task appeared huge. Daunting. Impossible. So I prayed. And others prayed.
That is what we tend to do when things in front of us seem impossible; we pray. But when everything is going well and the road in front appears to be smooth, we don’t pray like we should.
Our vision at First Free is to be a community of Christ-centered and Christ-sent people who are part of a city-shaping movement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We envision First Free being known for its compassion, a servant society that pours out its time and wealth for the common good of the city. We imagine First Free together being an Outpost, a people sent out for Christ, a Signpost, a people that point to Christ and a Lamppost, a people that shine the light of Christ everywhere we go.
I have one word for all this vision: Impossible.
That is the reason we must pray. If you read the Old Testament, you will come across those places where there was renewal in the nation of Israel. And they are all different. Some are spontaneous, some are more formal. Some are led by strong leaders. Others come up from the grassroots. But the one constant in each of these renewals is prayer. The people did more than just say their prayers, they cried out to the Lord.
In the New Testament, you turn to the book of Acts. And despite the fact that the believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, there was a continual need for the fullness of the Spirit. And prayer. The disciples of Jesus were in prayer when the day of Pentecost arrived. Later on when some were in jail, others were praying. After Saul encountered Christ, he spent three days in prayer. In the early church, every Christian was a "prayer-meeting" Christian.
R.A Torrey once said, “Pray for great things, expect great things, work for great things, but above all pray.”
What will it take for First Free to do the impossible? What will it take for us to see the vision that God has given to us to be lived out and for us to become the church that God has called us to be in the city? Corporate, prevailing, intensive, kingdom-centered prayer.
This summer, on Sunday mornings, we are taking a look at some of the great prayers of Scripture by some of the great pray-ers in Scripture. Not only do I want to encourage you to join us, but my hope and prayer is that as a church, God might move us to follow the example of those in both the Old Testament and New Testament – pray like it matters! Because it does!