‘If you pray like never before, I will open my hand like never before.’
These were the words that dropped into my heart, that I felt God was saying to me for the New Year last year (2017). And rather than be cajoled by guilt into patterns of prayer that are here today and gone tomorrow, that slip so easily from real relationship with a Father to rhetoric and religious routine, I felt compelled to give this a go. And it has been an truly incredible experience: ‘prayer circles’ being circled and checked, a realisation, even though I’ve been a Christian for a long time, that prayer works. That to pray in all things is to ultimately allow God to press the ‘reset’ button on what I felt was possible, or what I even believed about Him…and my own heart.
So, this January (2018) as a church we felt it was time to allow God to press the reset button for us as a community. We set aside three days to simply seek Him, spend time with Him and enquire ‘What is on Your heart, Oh Lord?’ We created a prayer space for more meditative reflection and a worship space for more free flow loudness – a raw roar! A ‘pick ‘n’ mix prayer-fest’ it was – and we were blown away. Firstly, by the hunger that many of us realised we had deep down for this type of thing, to not simply live the kingdom life with a gaping chasm between our activity and our prayer. That is the real game changer with God. We also realised God likes this type of thing too. He likes it when we pray, when we say we can’t do anything on our own without Him, woven right into the heart of things. It is as essential as breathing if we want to live. As Eugene Peterson says:
‘Prayer is not something we pull out of the web of revelation and incarnation and then sign on to be prayer warriors. It is more along the analogy of breathing: if we are to live, we all have to do it.’
And so it seems ‘reset’ is a word for us right now, a word for me right now. In every area of life, no matter how far you’ve come or what you haven’t yet done, we are only a prayer away from the reset button with God.