Yesterday I had coffee with a young pastor who was describing a vision God had given him. It was for an event that would target college students and young singles and attempt to draw them back into the church in large numbers.
As he was describing the steps for implementing this huge vision, he described the process in 4 phases. Phases 2-4 involved planning and promotion and other things that you would expect when pulling off a huge event for a large city. Phase 1, though, was very simple: pray.
One of the men who has been coaching him is Greg Matte, pastor of First Baptist Houston, and the founder of Breakaway ministries at Texas A&M. Breakaway is a ministry that just recently had over 9,000 Aggie students fill a building for a weekly meeting. People have often asked Greg, 'what is your secret to launching a successful ministry like Breakaway?' Greg's simple reply is prayer. He said from the get-go their gatherings, when they had 4-5 people, were bathed in prayer and 'asking God' what He wanted them to do. Greg explained that they saw themselves like a sailboat. Unlike a motor boat, a sailboat has to hoist the sail and allow the wind to move it through the water. They knew that if they wanted to really experience a God-thing it would have to be directed by the wind of the Holy Spirit.
That is what we are desiring for StoneBridge, a God-thing. If we simply ask man, then we will get what man can do. If we ask God, then we will get what God can do. What if instead of prayer being an after-thought, we made it the main thought? What if our church in this season was filled with hundreds of people who truly were 'asking God' what He wants? What if we had hundreds of people crying out to God asking Him to break us, mold us, fill us and use us to help bring His kingdom here to our city in a way that was beyond anything we could ask or imagine?
Check out some of these challenges to us directly from the mouth of Jesus in the gospels...
" Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."
Ask Him to heal marriages, save your neighbors, reconcile broken relationships, reach the next generation, bring justice to the oppressed, bring joy to the lonely, etc. So what are you gonna ask Him to do today?