What role does prayer have in making disciples? What role does prayer have in living out our relationships in our church community? Recently I was reading in Colossians 1:9-11 and had one of those “ah-ha” moments.

Paul says in verse 9: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

Paul asks God to fill them with the knowledge of his will, and this knowledge of his will comes through spiritual wisdom and understanding.

He then says in verse 10-12; “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

From that knowledge of His will not only brings wisdom and understanding, but Paul is also praying for them to receive this knowledge of God’s will so that they will live a life worthy of the Lord. It is amazing that our prayers for each other can have the authority to help one another grow in the knowledge of the Lord, but also to live according to God’s will. Prayer like this for one another causes them to be fruitful, have endurance and patience and even joy!

When we have the awesome opportunity to make a disciple consider how effective your prayers for that disciple can be. When you pray for them to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will and that they would have the Lord’s wisdom and understanding. This will even help the disciple to live a life that please the Lord and bears fruit. Isn’t that what discipleship is all about? To help the believer hear the Lord, obey him, be fruitful and grow in the knowledge of the Lord. Prayer is an effective tool in making disciples.

What about those you fellowship with on a regular basis? Do you pray for them? Consider this; what if you began to ask the Lord of fill them with the knowledge of His will, thus gaining wisdom and understanding. Not only that, but they would live a life worthy of the Lord and bear fruit. What a tremendous example Paul gives us here in Colossians! There is more power and authority in our prayers for one another than we know.

In simple, organic, house churches, discipleship is not a program or a curriculum. Discipleship is accomplished through relationships. What better way to live out our relationship with one another than to pray for one another as Paul has prayed for those in Colosse.

Now, let’s put what we have learned from Paul to practice.

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Can a simple, organic, house church do missions? Can our Lord raise up apostolic teams and send them to the nations out of our house churches and networks? The answer is yes! But, there needs to be some changes in the way we think and approach missions or we will fall into the same traps that plague the institutional missions effort. This is the reason for this series of articles. Hopefully it will spawn some discussion, but most of all spur us all to take the gospel of the Kingdom into the regions of our world where there is no witness, no preaching and no church. Basically to those who are out of reach. “How will they hear unless someone is sent?” (Romans 10:14-15)

A SIMPLE PROCESS:
• Study God’s Word (see Part 2)
Pray for the Nations
• Find a “Champion”
• Pray for harvest, and opportunity for all to participate in that harvest

• Seek the Lord for His Plan
• Follow the Plan

Apostolic Missions Begins with Prayer for the Nations

Once your local church grasps this call from your King, you will incorporate into your gatherings a time of prayer for the nations and seek the Lord’s direction regarding what to do. This is done for several reasons; you need to find out from the Lord how you are going to participate first hand in reaching the unreached. The Lord will give you a plan that you will not only initiate amongst yourselves, but share with the other house churches in your network (If you are not part of a network, join with one in your region. If there is not one, start one!) This plan consists of several simple steps that would prepare your church to reach the unreached.

Find God’s Champion

A major strategic step is to recognize someone within your church that would serve as a “champion” for the cause of reaching the unreached. This person would remind everyone of the needs of the unreached, to be sure prayer was initiated, and that they were progressing towards their goal of taking the gospel of the kingdom to an unreached people group. This advocate or champion would be sure that the apostolic mission the Lord has birthed in your midst remains in the forefront of the hearts of each person in your church.

Continual Prayer

What is meant by prayer in this context is that the church develops an integrated initiative to pray for harvest, to pray for opportunity, and to pray for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom through the ministry of every member of the church. The success of your mobilization to reach beyond yourselves begins with the success of the mobilization of prayer for the lost. Your prayers would be focused on praying for the unreached as well as seeking the Lord so that He would reveal to you His plan regarding how to reach the world around you in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. As a result of much prayer and seeking the Lord’s will, you will come up with a God breathed strategic plan.

In part four we will begin to discuss some of the things that could be a part of that pan. Link to Part four

[Don is available to come to your area and share with your group or network to assist your church to reach the unreached. dondavis@house2harvest.org ]

Have you ever thought about what is would be like to walk through life raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out demons – you know be just like Jesus? Well if you are like me, you would love to be just like that, but for some reason it just doesn’t quite happen that way. (Please don’t write me and tell me why you think it doesn’t!)

My point is that we can have such an impact on those around us without having lightening bolts shoot out from our hands. In fact, I believe that our fruit comes from when our spirituality is woven within the fabric of every day life. Many call this being incarnational. We CAN be like Jesus if we just love our spouses, love our children, not kick the dog, honor our employers, love our neighbors, encourage the downtrodden and simply enjoy the details of the mundane times of life and still be walk in the Spirit.

If we can only “touch heaven” by experiencing something spiritually new, or spiritually sentimental, then we have missed the point of walking with Jesus or living an incarnational life. The Holy Spirit is our comforter all the time. In fact, prayer is an all the time experience as we pray without ceasing. Or to put it plainly, talking to God, and listening to Him all the time is more of a prayer life than spending an hour a day filling a slot in some prayer program and meeting some religious requirement!

I am constantly being corrected by the Lord to stop seeking after the ecstatic experiences in order to hear him, and see him at work, but to look for him in the mundane, and in the midst of real life experiences and events. Simply by walking with Jesus where I live, and where my friends and neighbors live I will see his hand at work in a far greater way then attending a healing meeting or worship service.

Recently I read in Hugh Halter’s blog entitled “What is Incarnational Community” (author of “The Tangible Kingdom”) where he lists several things that reveal if we are incarnational. Take a few moments to jump over to Hugh Halter’s blog and see what he has to say – it will let you know that being a disciple of Jesus is not complicated and you can be one as you go about living life.

It is so freeing to just live life and see God work in the midst of what he has for us every day.