Call to Prayer: The Honor of Co-Laboring
Posted on July 15, 2021 by VMMissions Staff
At the VMMissions worker retreat in 2017, workers and staff intercede in prayer for Seth and Theresa Crissman (seated) as they were commissioned and sent into ministry with Kids Clubs in the Shenandoah Valley. Photo by Carol Tobin
By Ruth H.
From the time I was a little girl, I heard that I needed to pray. How important prayer is for people who want to follow Jesus, and I certainly wanted to follow Jesus. How powerful prayer is to change things around me, and there certainly were things around me that I wanted to see changed.
However, I found prayer, in the ways that it was modeled to me, very difficult. I struggled to find the right words. I felt self-conscious saying my prayers out loud. If I tried to pray inside my head, it lasted a whole five seconds before I was distracted. I always felt guilty, feeling I should be praying more. But to be honest, I didn’t really “get” prayer. If God already knows my thoughts, even before I think them, why do I need to voice them? And since he is sovereign, isn’t he going to do what he wants whether I pray or not? Maybe you’ve had the same struggles.
God really does want to teach us to pray. He has been taking my husband and me through such a journey over the past two decades. Step by step, he has been teaching us how to hear him and obey. Prayer has become much more than something that we “should” do. It is something we desire and enjoy, something that feels like a great honor.
In John 15:14-16 Jesus is speaking to his disciples, “You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [my] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in my name [as my representative] he may give to you.”
These verses speak of a dynamic relationship of asking, hearing, and obeying. As representatives of Jesus, prayer keeps our relationship with God moving and growing as we declare and live out his purposes on the earth. Could it be that the God of the universe desires to speak to me? Could it be that he wants to share with us his dreams and plans and that we get the amazing privilege and honor to co-labor in relationship with him to see those things accomplished on the earth? The answer is Yes, Yes – more than we know!
This fall, we are going to be offering a three month journey of learning to love him more, love one another more, and love the world around us more—through prayer. Learn how to develop a culture of prayer with your friends, within your small group or church. Come with us as we practice together creative, encouraging and powerful ways to pray.
Ruth leads regular in-person and virtual prayer gatherings. She and her husband Michael welcome opportunities for teaching sessions on strategic prayer for international and domestic mission, training cohorts, and more.