When we started asking God for connections with specific neighbors, He answered in big ways. Neighbors became friends quickly, and soon thereafter real conversations started taking place.
I recently led a devotional on prayer for my church, and opened the discussion with Luke 10:1-2:
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’
As Jesus was sending missionaries ahead of him, planting the seeds for eventual visits of his own, he instructed his servants to pray for more laborers. They were to pray for more missionaries, like themselves. Christ told these followers to pray that the harvest would indeed be plentiful, that people would come to Jesus, and that they (the new members of God’s family) would, in turn, make more disciples.
Essentially, everything hinged on prayer.
Our missional community learned the importance of prayer early on in our adventure – though I freely admit that we have never spent adequate time seeking the Father.
... I freely admit that we have never spent adequate time seeking the Father.Click To Tweet
Prior to knowing what a missional community even was, my wife, Kristin and I were hoping to find and join a group of believers that valued community with one another, as well as outward mission. We did not really know what it was we were searching for, just something deeper than a once-a-week gathering, or small group. As our hearts continued to yearn and pray for something closer to New Testament-style church, we discovered that a co-worker, Heather, and her husband, Evan, were also looking for this “thing” that we could not yet name. At this point, we stumbled upon the missional community concept.
Kristin and I prayed mostly for the opportunity to be sent overseas, somewhere on the “mission field.” We hoped that we would meet and bond with other believers, and that we could live among them as preparation for moving overseas. Little did we know that God was already moving where we were, and that He would answer our prayers for community and the longing of our hearts to do something significant for his Kingdom.
YOU HAVE LIKELY NOTICE THAT OUR EARLY PRAYERS WERE NOT FOCUSED; THEY WERE NOTE EVEN ABOUT SPECIFIC PEOPLE COMING TO JESUS, YET GOD STILL MOVED IN BIG WAYS (LEADING US IN HIS PURPOSE).
It was only after we formed a missional community and moved toward missional living, in a neighborhood, that our church’s prayers changed, and were met with more focused answers.
Not only is prayer crucial at the beginning of a missional community, it also sustains the missional movement. In the case of our missional community, being led to a neighborhood and then praying for connections with neighbors opened doors that we could not have foreseen.When we started asking God for connections with specific neighbors, he answered in big ways... Click To Tweet
WHEN WE STARTED ASKING GOD FOR CONNECTIONS WITH SPECIFIC NEIGHBORS, HE ANSWERED IN BIG WAYS. NEIGHBORS BECAME FRIENDS QUICKLY, AND SOON THEREAFTER REAL CONVERSATIONS STARTED TAKING PLACE.
As we started caring for our neighbors, we became aware of their difficulties and concerns. Those conversations, thank God, are still taking place. If we are to believe what Jesus said, many of these interactions are moving neighbors towards the kingdom and, ultimately, their own mission fields.