I am a big believer in prayer. If there were one practice that I would suggest to transform a life it would be prayer.
Many people – at least initially – I find are uncomfortable with prayer and as a pastor I have had many conversations about people feeling awkward talking to someone ‘who I don’t even know is there’. If you persist, though, and take it seriously, prayer can become the rhythm of your life and a means of being aware of the divine in and around you.
Case in point – Easter Sunday I challenged people to pray every day for one thing for six months. If God does not move in those six months AND you pray every day I will give any money back someone gives to First Methodist Houston. Either get in, or stay out.
In addition to issuing the challenge I also am answering the call. I need to pray for something the next six months so I am participating by praying for the Houston Independent School District every day for 6 months. Today is day 13 and already God is on the move.
Last week I was listening to NPR and on the local news segment a story came up about the next HISD school board meeting
”You should go.’ came the thought in my head.
My thought? A God thought? You tell me. What I will say is that without prayer I do not believe I would have heard the story at all much less made a decision to attend the next school board meeting. Prayer is not powerful in just the answers prayer gives. Prayer is powerful through the transformation prayer causes.
Also last week, a friend asked to have a cup of coffee. She is the leader of a nonprofit in the education space and she asked if I would give the invocation at a luncheon for the supporters of her work. Coincidence? I think not. Prayer sends messengers our way and gives us the capacity to be a part of Kingdom work.
Thirteen days in, my life is changing and it is because of prayer. I will be at the HISD school board meeting. It grieves me that in America’s fourth largest city our schools are being threatened with a state takeover because of our school district’s failing status.
What exactly should we do about it? I cannot say specifically except for one idea – our city should pray for our schools. Only by prayer do I believe we are changed into the people and leaders Jesus needs each of us to be.