September 28, 2009
And of small-group community
Many efforts have been made to try and distill our life in Christ down to the most basic elements. Tom Bandy, a church consultant, has put together a useful way of thinking about it. He has identified what I call five Scriptural “cries of the heart” that come out of the core of our journey with the Lord. Each of these prayers embraces a deep spiritual need we have.
Here they are:
- Change my life! Change my heart, oh God, take my life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
- Grow me up! Make every experience, every circumstance, good or bad, a pathway to knowing You and Your ways better, oh Lord.
James 1:2-4 says, “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”
- Help me fulfill my purpose in life! Show me who I am in Your eyes, and let that vision change my everyday existence.
Ephesians 1:11-12 says, “In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.”
- Equip me to bless others! I want to make a difference in other people’s lives; train me and use me in my relationships near and far.
Genesis 12:1-3 says, “Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go from your
country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'"
- Unite me with a team! Place me in a Christian community of Your love and power, and help me give Your love and power inside of me to my Christian community.
Mark 6:7 says, “He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”
Mark 9:2 says, “Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them.”
As I read these prayers, I am struck by how important small group community is to seeing these cries of the heart expressed in the lives of group members. With that in mind, I thought this would be a great tool to use in our groups to help frame group prayer times. Simply explain each cry of the heart and then ask group members to share specific prayer requests related to it. Use this format frequently to keep these prayers at the forefront of your life together.
posted by Dan Lentz on September 28, 2009 2:02 PM