Faith General

Bringing More Shalom to the Neighborhood

wild rose after rain by Windy AngelsIt’s been a very long time since I last blogged. A lot has happened during that time, including taking a much needed rest from blogging. As much as I like blogging, it can be taxing at times, and so my silence originally came from business, but later became a break as I was adjusting and settling in to the new neighborhood.

Soon (I promise sooner than the last post!), I will write more about the time in the blog silence. However, today I want to share briefly about tonight. A little bit of background: I’ve moved since I last blogged. Up here, we’ve been in a drought. I’ve had to start watering my trees to keep them alive.

Tonight, I went to Frontline. Ken Baugh was in town and shared a message with us that deeply impacted me. Ken taught about prayer. Many of you at Virginia Tech would think that I am a prayer warrior. But the truth is that prayer comes hard for me more often than not. I can pray before meals and before bed, but those times of intimate, heartfelt prayer are things that I have to go at least an extra mile to make happen. I’ve seen God move mountains through prayer and I don’t have a shadow of a doubt in my mind that God answers every prayer that is in line with his heart for the world. I understand that prayer is important, but I am lazy and unmotivated. Tonight, Ken told us that there are three areas to praying powerfully and effectively. If any of these areas are lacking, we will struggle in our prayers.

  1. Have God in the right place
  2. Know and obey God’s word
  3. Pray in faith

I was convicted of not putting God in the right place. As I’ve been in transition, I’ve had a lot more time on my hands than I have had in years. I’m also at an awkward time right now where most of the stuff that I’ve previously been involved with is over and the next chapter of my life hasn’t fully materialized yet. With so much in the air and so little on my plate, I have absolutely no excuse for not putting God in the right place. There never is a good excuse, but when I have only one weekly weeknight commitment, I should have an amazing prayer life instead of a desert prayer life.

As I was debating getting ready for bed this evening, I realized that I needed to do something. It’s not enough to feel convicted if that conviction doesn’t lead you to action. So I decided that I would take some time and pray. I realized that I wasn’t in the right state of mind to pray in the house, so I put on some shoes and started walking.

I prayed as I walked around the neighborhood. As I walked, I remembered prayer walking on the Virginia Tech campus. I remembered walking by the dorms on Otey Street. I remembered walking from McBryde to Burruss, praying for all the students and faculty in each building along the way. As I walked, it started sprinkling, which shortly turned into a full out rain. I thought about turning back, but knew that the plants needed the rain, just like I needed to be out here praying.

I walked around the neighborhood, lifting up the apartments and houses in prayer, repenting for not giving God the role he deserves in my life, praying for people I work with, praying for friends. That’s when I realized that I had a spiritual impact in Blacksburg because I was persistent in prayer. If I want to have a spiritual impact in Vienna and Washington, I need to pray. If I want to see God move in my own neighborhood, I need to invite him to use me here. That rain felt good. A soaking, cleansing rain. Rain that washes away the dry past and marks the start of a green future. I believe that God has big things in store for my generation, and I don’t want this generation to miss some God’s blessing because I wouldn’t do my small part in bringing it to them.

God, send your rain. I don’t want to just know you. I want to make you known, like your son Jesus made you known to us. Change me every day so that I can be the man you want me to be. Have it your way God. Break me out of my comfort zone and give me the strength to put you in the right place, even when it costs me.