I must confess, as a youth leader it is so easy to live from event to event. I'll prepare for what I'm teaching that evening, then the next day I'll take on the next thing. It's a way to keep focused, and not get overwhelmed, but the tyranny of the immediate can keep me from dreaming big.
It really hit me this week, as I came off the rush of my weekend of chaos, that though I'd been looking forward to the upcoming mission trip to New Orleans, I haven't been dreaming big enough.
Specifically, I was challenged by the thought, "If God answers all my prayers for this trip, what would that look like?"
It's so easy to let my prayers focus on basic things like safety, and raising money, and unity within the team. And don't get me wrong, those things are necessary and good. But they are not the reason we are going!
So, I invite you to join me in praying big prayers. Asking God for things that only He can do. And if He doesn't answer them all, that's ok. But the book of James says that "You do not have, because you do not ask." So, let's do our part.
Lord, I pray for transformed lives. I pray that each one of our students and leaders would be 'Jesus with skin on' to the people we meet in New Orleans. Bring us to new depths of love and compassion!
I pray that through our construction work, houses and lives would be rebuilt. I pray that fear would have no hold on us, that we would boldly share our stories of faith, and clearly explain the reason for hope we have in Christ Jesus. Help us to pray attentively, to hear and obey that 'still small voice' as You direct our steps.
I pray for new friendships that will last a lifetime. I ask that by our prayers, You would bring spiritual, emotional, and even physical healing to the hurting people that we will encounter.
Oh Jesus, I pray that many would make you Lord of their lives, and finally know the joy and freedom of a saving faith. Lord, I pray that You would redeeem the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, and through the tragedy Your children would see Your hand at work, and give You the glory You deserve.
Oh Jesus, be glorified in us. Take our eyes off of ourselves, and help us to love You more. In Jesus' name, amen.