This past Sunday I shared with our church that I believe God is calling us into a season of waiting (click here to listen to the message).
Generally, we are not thrilled about the idea of waiting, are we? We don’t like to wait in lines, we don’t like to wait for our food, and we don’t like to wait for our doctors. Waiting is definitely the hardest part (as Tom Petty would say)!
Yet God has made it so clear to me over the past couple of months that our church needs to put on the brakes a little bit and just wait for Him to tell us what is next. We live in a constant state of being “busy.” In fact when we ask people how things are in their life, they will often respond with just that— “busy.”
In many ways the Church has played into this craziness. Churches in general have been good at filling up our calendars, having events, and doing good things all in the name of making progress. Yet, we wonder why our leaders are tired, our families are struggling for time together, and those who visit the church are simply overwhelmed.
We have given in to the fast paced culture that surrounds us. Instead of letting God set the pace for us, we charge forward in the name of getting things done and keeping people excited. Yet, what if God is asking us to do something that seems so backwards to us like wait? Scriptures are full of examples that show the value of waiting on the Lord (see Psalm 27:14, 33:20, 37:7, 130:5, Isaiah 40:31 for example). Doesn’t it seem fitting that at times God would call the church to stop all the planning and just wait?
And for us as a church, I feel like that is where we are. We have had an incredible couple of years. God has been so faithful, and we have accomplished so much. To be honest I have never been so encouraged by what God is doing in our church right now.
He is calling us into a season of waiting. A season of just waiting on Him to show us what is next for Praxis Community Church. We are waiting for Him to show us how to become the church that he designed us to be. We are waiting for Him to show us what things should fill our calendars and what things we should throw out. Right now we are being called to be satisfied with just waiting.
So what does this look like practically? I am calling the church to enter into a month of prayer. It is so good for the church to set aside time and focus on praying together. We are entering into a season of waiting, and part of the way we are going to do that is to spend from now until September 7th praying together as a church.
Specifically, I am asking you to pray for our church every day from now until September 7th. Your prayers do not have to be long or complicated, yet my hope is that you will carve out time each day to pray. I realize this may seem challenging, and so I would encourage you to check out this previous blog post on prayer (here). It provides some practical advice about how to pray.
Over the next couple of weeks you can be praying specifically in three areas:
Pray for us as we rest
Pray that God would give us physical, emotional, and spiritual rest as a church. Specifically, you can be praying for rest of our church leaders.
Pray for us as we revisit our calling
As we wait, it is important that we revisit God’s calling on His church. Our leadership is going to spend the next couple of months narrowing the mission and vision of the church. In the end, we pray God would give us clear vision that reflects our call to preach Christ and make disciples in our context.
Pray for us as we build
Waiting allows us time to build and repair some things we may have ignored along the way. In the busyness of life we tend to ignore some things in the name of moving forward. Pray that God would reveal areas where we need to build a strong foundation for our future.
We are now in a season of waiting, yet I am confident knowing that our entire church will be praying together over the next few weeks. I also believe God will do something incredible in us as we pray. I believe He is going to speak to and unite our church in ways we could have never imagined. I also believe God is going to do something incredible in your own life while we wait.
I know many of you are tired and weary. Life has been difficult for you. You are in a season that is far from anything that looks like rest. In fact just talking about the next 30 days is overwhelming because you are unsure of what might happen tomorrow. Some in our church have run a difficult race recently and feel like they are sitting on the curb wounded and beat up. My prayer is that during this season of waiting God will not only do a work in our church, but that He does a work in you, too! Here is my prayer for you:
I love you church! I am thankful to be on this journey with you. Now let us:
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14 (ESV)