Have you ever thought about whether you actually believe prayer is effective? I had a sobering moment a few years ago when I realized that my belief in prayer was very weak. I prayed at meals, prayed with my kids, and prayed over prayer requests sometimes, but I realized that deep down I didn’t have much confidence that my prayers would actually change anything.
Blessed by Listening to the Holy Spirit: A Vignette From World Wide Conference
It was the final night of the World Wide Conference and worship was pushing well into the night. Around 11 pm, I stood up to head to my room when I suddenly felt the Spirit draw my attention to a girl across the room and say, "Go pray for her." I paused for a moment. I was tired. My body wanted rest. This girl was a stranger. And I wasn't getting a sense of what I might pray for her.
In that moment I had a choice. I could not deny I felt a tug at my spirit. I felt free to make my choice, but I knew that if I obeyed, I would probably be blessed to see God do something.
Project Saturation Novi Sad: Preparation for Gospel Movement
There’s a new initiative that has kicked off in CRM and I am excited to be a part of it. What is this initiative, called PRIME? The leaders describe it like this:
PRIME Movemental Prayer Initiative
Prime (verb): to make ready for use or action
CRM has identified prayer as “critical in laying the foundation and creating the conditions for a movement to launch and thrive”—the name Prime conveys this unique and essential role of preparation. This initiative catalyzes CRM teams into a posture and position strategically primed to launch and sustain the gospel movements we long to see.
The initiative has five different streams or teams: Worship, Prophetic, Strategic, Intercession, and Healing. Each team has people from all different branches of our organization. Each “team” gathers regularly via video conference calls that span 12+ time zones. We also have a workspace online where we can share messages, pictures, and documents.
Every four years CRM sets aside time for all staff and Conext partners around the world to come together. Since the very first Worldwide Conference in 1998, this has been an essential component for sustaining momentum and a sense of dynamic community in our organization.
These are arguably some of the most important days for our organization. Conference has huge impact across CRM and across the world.
My birthday, May 23, 2002 was happily spent traveling along with a group of leaders through the northwest of Cambodia, to a region the Lord had never given me permission to travel to before. We were visiting pastors and their churches, praying for them as they served Jesus out on the fringes of the Kingdom. We asked the Lord to send laborers to extend his church.
Fast-forward more than a dozen years. God had moved me into more focused prayer efforts, riding my dirt bike around the whole circumference of Cambodia (5,000 km) twice each year. We called these expeditions “Prayer Circles.” I had made many more trips into that isolated northwest province and spent a lot of time praying there.
That the Unreached May Know: A Historic Gospel Movement Birthed Through Prayer
“Just as a plant may die for lack of watering, so may a genuine work of God die and rot for lack of prayer.” –James O. Fraser (1886–1938)
James Fraser, born in London, was an accomplished pianist and engineer, with a promising career ahead of him. A little booklet on the neglected multitudes who didn’t know Jesus challenged the direction his life was going.
Learning to Walk in Spiritual Authority
As I’ve become more familiar with God’s heart and seen what life was intended to look like with Jesus as our King, I’ve noticed a holy discontentment stirring inside me. I look around at this fallen planet, and instead of seeing the peace and goodness and joy of the Lord we were created to know, the intimacy with God and one another, I see people—even Christ-followers—living in bondage to the lies of the enemy, that deceptive, defeated foe. I sense God is calling His people to liberate the captives by going into territory that the enemy no longer has authority over but has yet to surrender. And that’s how I see myself—as a person ready and willing to go into the darkness and, by God’s grace, bring the light of Christ to those He loves.
Matthew 11:12 says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people lay hold of it.” Or as another version says, people take it by force. I think this means that Jesus wants His planet back—the one He created, then purchased on the cross, but it has to be forcefully taken by those who know it rightfully belongs to their King.
“Full court press.” That’s a term I learned back in 7th grade when I joined my Jr. High School’s basketball team. At one of our pre-season practices our coach, Coach Gabe, divided us up into two teams, gave one team the ball and told them they would be playing offense in the next drill.
Then he took those of us who were going to be playing defense, and told us that when he blew the whistle and the ball went into play, we were to cover our opponents “man to man.” We were to rush up on them and stick to them like glue, wherever they went. We were to apply aggressive pressure on them throughout the court, not just by our basket. We were not to surrender any territory. Instead we were to make them fight for every inch of the court.
Five Steps to Start Living Miraculously
In the gospels Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was coming or was near. This proclamation was often accompanied by signs and wonders that included physical healing, casting out of demons, and raising the dead. When he sent out his followers, he commissioned them to go and do these same things.
We believe this commission carries on to us today. Such supernatural expressions of God’s power are ways that people who are far from God can have an immediate, tangible experience of his love.
Don't Let This Dirty Word Define You: Seeing Disappointment Differently
Disappointment. Yeah, that’s the dirty word that has had me stuck in neutral far too many times. It looms over me like a mountain too steep to climb, reminding me of failures in the past and whispering doubts in my already fearful heart.
Do you know that word? After almost 20 years on the mission field in Asia, I have decided that I am tired of it. I call it “the dung of disappointment.” Yeah, “dung” is really a dirty word, too...pun intended!