I’ve had so many thoughts over the first five weeks of planting a church. There have been surprising highs and unexpected joy. At the same time I’ve had my share of gut checks in leadership.
The most significant gut check has been the strength to wait on the Lord in prayer. As a church planter there is so much to do and so much I feel I should be doing. It seems that I’m always trying to catch up to something. As a result I’m always postponing my extended time in prayer.
The Lord has blessed me to walk alongside men of prayer throughout my life and now I’m realizing why such men are hard to find. The demands of our responsibilities and the distractions of our days are always present to devour our time. It takes strength to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). It takes faith to believe that God acts on behalf of those who wait on Him (Isaiah 64:4). I do pray but I want to depend on prayer. Even more…I want to be a man of prayer. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying:
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
A sharper axe makes for efficient cutting. In the same manner, a deeper prayer life makes for empowered ministry. I am personally faced with this question:
“Give me three years to start a church. How will I spend my time?”
It’s interesting that the more we have to do–the less we tend to pray. The truth is that the more we have to do–the more we need to pray. I am resolved to wait on the Lord. Like Daniel, I will stop to call out to Him three times a day…because I need Him.
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” -Martin Luther