The ministers and leadership of our summer church here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire are challenging us of the congregation to 31 days of prayer. Not just daily devotions, or prayer over meals, but serious praying, as a whole people, for our congregation, and all the people in it, for the church's witness for Jesus in this small village in upper Appalachia, for America and its witness in the world, for our president and all leaders, and for deep change in all of our lives.
They want new boldness. They want daring, they want honest, daily, courageous calling out to God to come and walk with these people in His Holy Spirit, so that new power can be here, that Biblical signs and wonder of God's presence can be seen and experienced.
I mean, they are SERIOUS. They are not kidding. They want to get beyond the old formalities, the traditional personal pleas for help, to a daily "walk with God," resulting in the changes of heart and spirit that come out of deep friendship with a real person whose power and love changes your life the way the disciples' lives were changed by walking with Jesus in the friendship that is full of the love that changes everything.
My first thought was, "I'm on vacation. I'm not sure I can muster the time and concentration that this journey demands."
But then I began to think, "No, I need this. I may be 90, with 65 years as an ordained minister, and hundreds of personal experiences of deepened faith, and a wonderful partnership with a woman of faith who loves and prays for me daily, but I still could go beyond my daily discipline of the faith, my erratic prayers, my deep believing. I could join these comrades of mine in a new commitment to prayer in all kinds of ways that I have not daily practiced - though I do deeply, and dearly, believe."
But, this church in New Hampshire goes back, in my life, to my childhood. Several of their pastors were among the finest I know. This time, under this challenge, I want not to be among the missing. I want to be among the present. I want to be an encourager. And, I want to be encouraged.
Surely, the challenge is from God. He is waiting to reach out toward everyone who responds. I want to be among them. I want to say "yes," though I am afraid of not measuring up. What I need to do is sign up. I need to say yes. I need to join in with others. I need to play the game, and see what happens.
Maybe some of you, out there in internet land, are also ready - to take a chance, and let God do what He wants so much to do, in you. Will you join me, and Him?
God love you, friends.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES