Here is my prayer for our movement on this first day of the year:
Your face O Lord we will seek.
Our deepest desire is not family or ministry or growth or mission or community. We want You. Whatever we do, may it be the result of this experiment: What happens when communities of Jesus-followers set apart their lives to seeking the face of the living God? The outgrowth of that, then, is to seek the lost, the least, and a true expression of Church. But this is our ultimate dream: to engage in lives and mission defined by their pursuit of You Yourself, so that it is so very clear that you are glorious. This is first. You are our first love. And it is precisely our first love which orders all the others.
So we pray for harvest, innovation, leadership, health, provision, protection, creativity, unity, boldness, resources, gifts of the Spirit, empowered communication, incredible times of worship, amazing Bible studies, divine appointments, expanded vision, physical strength, open doors, great management…
But what we most want is You.
To know You. To be found in You. To do what we do – not out of an achiever need to accomplish, not out of an American need to compete, not because it’s what everybody else is doing – or because nobody else has done it yet … We long for a movement characterized by You. Not just business principles, hard work, ingenuity, and natural talent. We don’t need another good church. Or another missional movement. Or another group of natural Christians. We seek You. This is our life.
Save us from the nonsense of “doing our devotions” or some sort of minimum requirement approach to seeking You. Jesus, our whole lives are Yours and we set them apart to seek Your heart. Remind us who we are.
The promises are magnificent. Our call gets rediscovered while in pursuit. Vision becomes sharp in the secret place. Mission comes alive when our hearts are set on seeking. Leadership goes deep when the leader brings direction birthed from burning in Your presence. Words have authority when the tongue has been silenced in a time of listening. Hope is rekindled, faith is stirred, peace is obtained, promises are embraced, fears are stilled, opposition is exposed. The evidence is astounding: those who make the sacrifice of seeking You inherit promises. May this be a year when we become “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:12)
This is central to our call: to make people thirsty enough to drink living water and mobilize them once they’ve drunk. For the unregenerate we call this evangelism. But there is another form of evangelism needed for the believer. We get lost too. We fall asleep. We grow dry. We lose our way. We wander from our first love. But this we know: when we seek You we come back to life.
Let there be life.
In the name of Jesus.