A puritan pastor once wrote, “If I wished to humble anyone, I should simply ask him about his prayer life.”
In an un-scientific poll of several church planting pastors it has been identified that the personal prayer life of the Church Planter is an enormous struggle. In fact, personal prayer is one of the first things to go in the life of the Planter. Consider the following example:
Chuck Planter was sharing with his coach about his life. The coach asked about his personal life with God — Scripture reading, prayer, and meditation. Chuck admitted that he was so busy with things that he had let his personal prayer life and Scripture reading slide. The coach probed deeper and Chuck admitted that he had not had a personal prayer life for most of his whole adult life. It had always been a struggle.
That story is repeated with many Christian leaders today – more than we dare acknowledge.
Don’t feel humiliated or guilty about your prayer life. I’m confident — very confident — that you desire to have a spiritual life with God that is so vital, refreshing, real, and intimate. And you long for a prayer life that would move mountains. I know you desire to see lives transformed by the Gospel we say is real and see God do things in your community, neighborhoods, in other’s lives you work with, even in your kid’s lives.
Therefore, let’s re-orient life back to the Gospel — a Gospel motivation to intentionally reconnect to God through prayer — as a way of life through:
If Jonathan Edwards is right, and he is most of the time, we can identify two main hindrances to having a personal prayer life.
1. Foolish Pride — self-sufficiency, asking for our own idols to be accomplished, the false belief that God has to act on our behalf, and/or bragging about our disciplined life as a pastor
2. Fear Factor — we doubt God, we have a deep sense of disappointment from unanswered prayer, our sin testifies against us, and we are simply not convinced of God’s love.
What is Gospel Prayer?
Read Luke 11:1-13.
This parable is not a story of comparison. Jesus is not saying, “If you would pray enough and be persistent enough God will finally get up and meet your need”.
Instead, Jesus is using the story as a contrast. He is showing us that we have a True Midnight Friend, a True Father, who is more than willing to do much more than we can even ask or imagine.
He can be trusted. He is for you. He wants to answer our need. He will give us the Holy Spirit and the power to believe the Gospel is true. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit’s is to make much of Jesus! God is focused on gaining a great reputation for Himself by advancing His Kingdom through weak people like us who need forgiveness, protection, and guidance.
Ultimately, the Gospel is about knowing God. Prayer connects us to God in all of Who He is.
Knowing God is the highest level of life any of us can attain.
How have you viewed prayer? Simply as making requests to God? Or do you see it more as a way to build your friendship — through worship, confession, intercession for others, receiving from the Father blessings of his presence — with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?
Download your FREE eBook “Personal Prayer Life” which includes a FREE Prayer Life Evaluation Form.
Remember, you don’t have to plant a church alone. A CMM C.R.O.S.S. Coach will give you the margin you need to think. Our coaches will engage your heart and life. Church Planter coaching is a process of imparting encouragement and skills to the planter in order to succeed in the task of starting a gospel-saturated church, in the context of a gospel friendship. Learn more about CMM C.R.O.S.S. Coaching today.
Dr. Tom Wood
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!