Monday, March 8, 2010

Most Encouraging Conversation Contest

Today I sat across the table at Starbucks from Melvin, a staff pastor at a nearby church. The two of us are from different ethnic backgrounds, we are in different stages of life, and we serve different churches with different emphases within different denominations. Different Christian traditions, even. He referenced people and conferences and ministries I’d never heard of, and he’s unfamiliar with those in my circles as well. I don’t think he’s even heard of Tim Keller or Jeff Tell.

And we talked about uniting the churches in our community around prayer, worship, and intercession.

Man, it was great…

Every Tuesday night we open our house up for prayer, and we call this “House of Prayer.” Before and after, we talk—but 7:30-8:30 is for prayer. I guide the prayer time, but do so very lightly—it is my desire that the Holy Spirit will guide our thoughts, hearts, and prayers in the direction He knows we need to go. I refer to this as “the best hour of the week.”

Back to Melvin. While I’m enjoying this hour a week of prayer, his church has established about 20 different prayer meetings. Many of them are in two hour blocks, combining worship and prayer. And his desire is to see numerous congregations unite, forming a “House of Prayer” that will keep worship and intercession ascending 24/7 in our community—patterned after what’s been done in Kansas City.

I wanted to get some guidance for a “Day of Prayer and Fasting” we are attempting later this month, but somehow this discussion of of 24/7 prayer—and the parenthetical discussions of worship, outreach, younger people, our families, the work of God, and racial diversity—left only enough time remaining to pray for one another and for our wives.

What a great conversation. I should have told him about the time that I was driving up north when a large sign reading “HOUSE OF PRAYER” grabbed my attention. Then I saw a stop sign protruding from the snow, and wondered what it was doing in the middle of—wait a minute, there’s an intersection here!! I slammed on my brakes, slid on the ice into the intersection, and was spared by God from a serious accident.

That’s the most encouraging conversation I’ve had since…well, since last Tuesday night when we conversed with our Creator at “House of Prayer.”

Has anyone had a more encouraging conversation than that lately?

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