I can’t believe that we’re home. On the one hand, the last five weeks went by way too fast for my family. We had a blast resting, playing, traveling, reading, and turning off. We were so blessed to make some lifelong memories. On the other hand, the last five weeks went by real slow. We really missed our friends and family in NOLA and couldn’t wait to get back. This break was never about fleeing a life that we hate. Instead it was about retreating from a world that we love and are honored to serve so that we can continue to walk faithfully in this call.
Over a decade ago, Annabeth and I moved to New Orleans with a pursuit of education and ministry. This past decade has been one crazy ride that has led us to see our ministry expand from sports outreach, to post-Katrina rebuilding and speaking, to young adult evangelism, to a new church plant that has given us the great privilege of serving with some amazing people in some amazing places around this city and even world. Over the last year my family began to find that our “well doing” had begun to make us weary. During this time we prayed for God to give us rest, recreation, reflection, and reconnection. He answered our prayers. Thank you to all who supported us in prayer.
There is no way that I could fill all that God did in our lives in this one post, but I wanted to share with you some major highlights. This Sunday I am going to be back at Vintage and we are going to kickoff our new series focusing in on prayer. My personal prayer rhythm has always included four parts: praise, confession, intercession, and commission. This has always served to help guide my thoughts as I’ve always struggled to stay focused. Prayer is a personal conversation with and enjoyment of God. Spurgeon shares that “to pray is to grasp heaven in one’s arms, to embrace the Deity within one’s soul, and to feel one’s body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.” I’m so thankful that during this break my soul has been fed by God through prayer.
Turning my email, phone, and social media off has no doubt been a challenge for me, especially with all of the tragedies that have happened all over our country and world. However, turning off ended up being an amazing gift as it forced me to spend time in reflection and prayer. Sadly I have spent too little time in prayer and too much time thinking that my words, emails, phone calls, and even tweets can solve my problems and the problems of the world. This Sunday I am going to share how God has called me into a continued season of urgent prayer. People are in great need of the Gospel and we have the amazing privilege of sharing this Good News. Our greatest action in multiplying the Gospel all over the world is to first pray. Jesus compelled his followers in Matthew 9 after sharing that the world needs him to pray for the Lord to send laborers. Prayer is the first and most important action for the church. To pray would be a radical step for most. This Sunday our prayers will not only be primary; they will be priority. The church must rally in urgent prayer.
The following is a personal bulleted list that I am going to share in more detail this Sunday as we unite together in prayer. I want to challenge you to ask for the Spirit to guide you as you create your own list. Once your list is created…pray personally, pray with your family and friends, pray with your vGroup, and then pray with us this Sunday.
- My salvation
- My family
- My friends
- My impatience
- My self-sufficiency
- My lack of trust
- My neighbor
- My church
- My world
- My future
Thanks again for your support and prayers over the last month. I can’t wait to see you this Sunday as we will unite in urgent prayer.