1160 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H7
Prayer to GO!
About a year and half after I accepted Jesus Christ in my life, and while experiencing His wonderful healing in my heart, I began to sense a greater desire to grow closer to Him and obey His will. This must have been around the year 2002 when our Church had only 2 Sunday services, which was well attended by adults and some families, but only few youths and young adults. At the time, Pastors Dave and Cheryl and a handful of young adults with a passion to see God transform our downtown area began a prayer meeting on Saturday Evenings. I somehow got wind of “a young adult meeting” and decided to attend thinking it was a place for me to receive prayer and grow in my faith. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit was about to shift focus from myself to the Great Commission through it.
I entered the church that Saturday nervous and unsure of what to expect. When I saw people my age strong in faith who wanted to seek after God’s face and for His will and vision for the young people in the city, I was moved and inspired. We collectively began to pray and cry out for the youth in the city, and it felt as we were in the Upper Room described in Acts 1 and 2. I left that Saturday, and every Saturday after that, increasing in understanding our Father’s heart and the mission Jesus has tasked us with by being in the city – We needed to “Go and make disciples of all nations”! During the span of 9 months, our group, not only began to grow in numbers, but the Holy Spirit started to empower us into action to invite people to “come and see” Jesus.
During this season, God used prayer to change me, while also showing me that prayer changes things! This meeting of young adult believers then became a Saturday Service for the youth of Vancouver, and that’s how our Saturday Night Service began! It was amazing to see the Holy Spirit moved in that season where young people came to know Christ.
Prayer is and will always be the headwaters of our church and any kingdom endeavour to fulfill the Great Commission and is one of the first things Jesus asks his disciples to do.
Acts 1:4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15
“And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father…but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in all Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth…Then They returned to Jerusalem….And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, … All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brother… (A company of persons was in all about 120).
Jesus did not leave His disciples nor us without a plan nor unequipped to fulfill His great mission. He left us the power of His Spirit, a great blueprint in His Word, and from the early church, the example to pray which prepares us to GO! which is a pattern we have had in our church for now 30 years.
So how then should we pray to be effective witness and GO and share the good news?
- Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive power (Acts 1:8). We might feel shy, or fear rejection to share with others, but as we are filled with His Spirit, He gives us discernment and guidance on how to minister and what to say. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit will give you the power and anointing to be His witness.
- Pray with earnest devotion (Acts 1:14). The disciples worshipped Jesus and prayed earnestly while they waited for the promise of the Holy Spirit. As they drew near to God, He must have filled their hearts with His love, desires and will for the world. When we pray and abide in Him, we will receive His love compelling us to share His love with others. This is exactly what happened to me when I attended the Saturday prayer meeting – He brought change in my heart and moved me away from my needs to the needs of the world.
- Pray with other believers in one accord (Acts 1:14). The disciples not only enjoyed the mutual fellowship, but they were praying with one accord. There is great spiritual power in agreement, as Jesus said in Matthew 18:19 – If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven. There were 120 people agreeing in faith and being empowered to GO out into the world. Unity is attractive, and Jesus uses this visible unity to draw people to Him. Our Saturday prayer meetings still runs but now in the mornings – join us and experience the power of unity.
- Pray for people God places in your life (Matthew 9:36, 37, 38). The Holy Spirit has already begun the redemptive work in people’s lives and desires to use to be bearers of good news. Pray that He would give you His eyes and compassion for those around you and make you ready to share His love with them.
There is no better place to begin than in prayer when fulfilling the Great Commission.
The disciples returned to Jerusalem and obeyed what Jesus commanded them to do. They went to the upper room and prayed in one accord for 10 days, along with 120 believers. What is notable is that after they prayed, and received the Holy Spirit, they did not stay in the upper room. They all went out in His power and were busy discipling and teaching others as Jesus commanded.
Let’s learn from the early church and disciples – PRAY and GO! Apply the pattern of prayer and action to herald the Good News that Jesus is alive and here to set the captives free, and adding to His church.