I was reading a book recently that mentioned how several of the top church planters from around the world all came together to learn from each other. They compared all of the different things they were doing and while they shared many things in common there was only one thing that every single person shared as a reason for success. Each person there shared how they prayed on average three hours a day on their own and another three hours daily with others. My first response was, "How the heck do they get anything done when they're praying six hours a day?" I mentioned this to several of our pastors and we decided together to raise the amount of time we each spend individually in prayer and develop a schedule where we prayed more together. I just want to share one thing God's been teaching me like crazy during my extended prayer times.
I've gotten in the habit of really praying through my day each morning. I used to pray through all my meetings pausing for a few moments to ask God to bless my appointments and to have His will in my time spent with people. Lately I've been extending the amount of time I pray for each of these meetings and ask the question, "what might God want to do in each meeting?" As I start thinking about the appointment through His eyes I find myself praying for stuff that had never crossed my mind before. Here's one example, this past week I was praying for an upcoming meeting with a student in our youth group who had recently become a Christian and one of his friends who had just started coming. I realized that this friend was probably not a Christian so I prayed that this student would accept Christ during our time together. Then I started thinking about the student who was already a Christian and how incredible it would be for him to lead his friend to Christ so I prayed that would happen in our meeting. Then I thought about how cool it would be for both of these guys to get baptized and for the Christian student to baptize his friend that he'd just lead to the Lord.
Obviously by the time the meeting came along later that day I was pretty excited about what might happen. Long story short, the student in our group led his friend to Christ and is baptizing him this Sunday. I just wonder how often we miss so much of what God wants to do in our lives because we never really asked Him. Maybe sometimes our prayers are way too small? John 15:7 says, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." I'm seeing this verse be revealed in my life when I ask God to show me my world through his eyes, give me a passion for his plan and then gladly answer those prayers.
God's been taking me on an amazing journey in writing the screenplay for the upcoming movie "To Save a Life" (It comes out in theatres January 22nd and you can see a trailer at tosavealifeleaders.com) and I've seen this very same principle lived out over and over. In the beginning we never envisioned this movie releasing on hundreds of screens all over the country but every time I spent time in prayer over the film God directed me to pray for things that He keeps answering. That really is my passion for the film with every student that watches it. They would walk out of the theatre and start praying that God would start revealing to them the hurting and lonely people on their campuses and then have the courage to approach them and ultimately lead them to Christ. I'm praying that as students enlarge their circles of concern for the hurting and lonely they would also realize how truly desperate they are for God to show up in their lives and their prayers would be things that only God can do.
So a couple questions for you. Does your current prayer life reveal how desperate you are for God? Do you talk to God about each of the people you are going to meet with each day before you talk to them about God? How are you empowering students to do the same?
Learn how you can see a preview screening of To Save a Life and bring the film to a theatre near you at tosavealifeleaders.com. You can also direct your students to tosavealifemovie.com.