The following is a rough transcript of Tyler Daniel’s introduction of the Your Kingdom Come Prayer Guide. This introduction was addressed first and foremost to The Well’s Staff and Gospel Community Leaders. However, anyone is welcome to download and go through this prayer guide with the leadership of The Well for the six weeks prior to Easter 2020.
A People of Prayer
I want to tell you a little bit about where this came from. We actually were planning on doing something church-wide; it was a church-wide prayer guide. And after kind of wrestling with it and discerning for a little while, we thought that maybe it would be a good idea to actually slow down on trying to see all of this happen in the life of our church and first make sure it’s something that’s happening deep within our own lives as leaders.
So we’ve been thinking about that as a staff: what does it look like for us to become a people of prayer? We want that to extend from us and then we want that to happen in your lives too. If our church is going to be a praying church, it has to start with our leadership, right? Because people get what we pass on; you can only give what you possess. And so, we can’t expect for our whole church to be a praying church if our leadership isn’t praying in worship.
So we kind of halted the breaks on this church-wide prayer guide. We pulled back a little bit and we kind of adjusted and edited this so it would actually fit you guys as leaders and help hopefully speak into the things that you’re actually doing and give you some lenses to begin to pray through.
And so really, this guide walks through the idea of “What would it look like for God’s Kingdom to come first to my life and then be extended to my city?” So that means my life, my family, my roof, the house that I live in, the regular people that I encounter everyday. Because you have people in your life that you encounter every day and sometimes you’re not aware of what God might want to do there. So we want to get you to start thinking about that, because if we are actually going to be a people that are following God, then we need to be on mission in all of life.
But we can’t do that apart from the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We can’t just send you and say, “Hey, go share the gospel with all these people!” That’s a little bit overwhelming. But there are people in your life that God wants you to be good news to. And first, we should slow down and pray and ask, “Who are those people? Who is it that you’re sending me to God?” Because the more clarity we get, the more confidence we can walk in obedience with. When we know where the Holy Spirit is leading us, then it’s easy to say, “yes.”
But when we’re not confident and a little bit unsure of where God is calling us to, then honestly most of our best efforts fall short. You’ve all experienced that right? I say that because I’ve experienced it so much too.
And so we really want this to be a tool that you could use in your personal devotional life to help you get some clarity about what God is calling you to do in your own life, in your own home, in your Gospel Community, and with the regular people that you encounter. And then hopefully God would begin to break your heart for some of the brokenness in our city and that you would be able to see that there are things that God wants you to be passionate about.
How do you step into that with your real life and then call your GC into that though? I know in leading Gospel Communities in the past, I felt like I wanted everybody to come and be on mission with me suddenly. But the truth was that my life wasn’t first on mission; my life wasn’t first submitted to the Spirit. And so I got really frustrated when people didn’t make it easier for me to be on mission. I got frustrated when people didn’t come along on my journey. But the problem was that I wasn’t so convicted that I would have done it without them. And so we want you to be leaders who are so convicted about where God is leading you, that you would do it even if no one else showed up. And if you would do it even if no one else showed up, then I guarantee you that people will start to show up.
That’s the place that we want to lead from- a deep conviction; not out of compulsion, not out of fear, not out of worry, but out of deep conviction of what the Lord has done.
And so I hope this will be a tool for you. This was put together by several people in our church, in hopes that this would be a resource and guide for you to that goal. Really all it does is ask you good questions and ask you to start praying; we think that God’s the one who’s going to do the work.
So use this in your personal devotional time as we head towards Easter, and we hope that it will give you a lot of clarity for your Gospel Community and really for your own life first. Because we want to be a people who practice prayer before we ask other people to join us. If we can’t live it out first, then we have no reason to be calling other people to it. And that’s true of me too- if it’s not true in my own life, I should not ask other people to join me.
There’s a quote by a guy named Mark Sayers, and he says, “All corporate renewal starts with personal renewal.” And so, first in me Lord. That should be our mantra: “First in me Lord.”
All corporate renewal starts with personal renewal.Mark Sayers
A Season of Anticipation
For some of you that follow the church calendar, you know that this is the season of Lent. For some of you, that might be a weird topic. We aren’t celebrating it church-wide, but the season of Lent is really a season of prayer and fasting for preparation as you head to Easter. It’s the six weeks before Easter.
Therefore, this prayer guide is actually meant to help you walk through some of the rhythms that prayer and fasting do. So we’re giving you activities where you fast from some areas of life and begin to pray into those same areas. Ask God that as you remove some things, that he would give you the desire for him; that he would replace your desire for lesser things with a desire for the greatest thing- Him.
Before Easter is an especially great time to be praying because we get to celebrate the Resurrection. And really, what do we see happen in the early church after the Resurrection? There’s some waiting… and then all things just break loose. The Spirit just goes nuts and sends his people, the Church, out.
And so one of my favorite things about the Church calendar is that every year I get to practice, January through April, following the life of Jesus. We celebrate his death and resurrection, there’s this season of waiting, and then there’s always the season where the Spirit sends us. He sends us out in his power. And I’m praying that even this Summer the Lord will send us out on mission a little deeper than we’ve ever been before as a church.
What’s cool about that is that every year, if you kind of live in that rythm where you’re following the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and then the empowering of the Holy Spirit, think about how that begins to shape and mold who you are. It begins to shape the things you’re anticipating and the things you long for. What if every year you begin to get into a rhythm of longing for God’s Kingdom to come more and more, which means that you’re saying, “I’m willing to let go some of my own kingdom. Lord would you use me? Would you send me out?” And every Spring, what if you get to this place of, “I’m kind of tired of the way I live for myself, Lord Jesus, would you remove that stuff and would you send me out?”
If we live into those rhythms and we get into that heartbeat, think about how much easier it will be for the people we lead to live into that pattern too. And then we begin to become a people who desire the Kingdom more and more. We don’t just desire for The Well to get bigger or more people to come, but we desire for the Kingdom to come in our city, in our neighborhoods, in our friendships, and all those areas.
So that’s my prayer for us, is that that’s who we would be year-in and year-out.
Could you even just stop for a minute now and personally ask that the Lord would use this Prayer Guide to stir in your heart and that he would lead you to greater clarity in how to lead your Gospel Community?