Prayer is the Work
By Carolyn Moore
November 19, 2021
I’ve heard it said that prayer is not preparation for the work. Prayer is the work, and I absolutely believe that. It is why I have personally emphasized the work of prayer in this movement called the Wesleyan Covenant Association. More than two years ago, we launched the International Intercessory Prayer Network, calling for intercessors to gather in every regional chapter. We now have intercessory groups all over the world, crying out for God to move among us. Every month, intercessors meet by Zoom to seek the Holy Spirit’s leading and listen for the voice of God as we discern the future of the Global Methodist Church.
We also gather by Zoom for prayer every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET. A faithful group has been praying weekly for nearly two years for our leadership, for decisions being made, for challenges that have arisen, and for the welcome and advance of God’s Kingdom on earth. We pray because we want only what God wants, and I’m convinced that as we soak this movement in prayer, the Lord will be faithful to answer and guide us into his purposes.
It is a great gift of encouragement to me to see intercessors for this movement gathering week after week, month after month, to pray for God to do a new thing. People called to the work of prayer inspire me. Their willingness to do this hidden work, to stay in it even when it is inconvenient and frustratingly slow (God never seems to move as quickly as I’d like him to move!), is faith-building. Oswald Chambers must have had intercessors like ours in mind when he wrote:
“Remember, no man has time to pray, he has to take time from other things that are valuable in order to understand how necessary time for prayer is. The things that act like thorns and stings in our personal lives will go instantly we pray; we won’t feel the smart any more, because we have got God’s point of view about them. Prayer means that we get into union with God’s view of other people. Our devotion as saints is to identify ourselves with God’s interests in other lives. God pays no attention to our personal affinities; he expects us to identify with His interests in others.”
I’m very grateful for those who have stood their ground in prayer and have kept vigil on our behalf for such a long time.
In recent months, I’ve sensed yet another move of prayer forming as God calls us to widen our circle of intercessors. We certainly understand that some are called to the special work of intercessory prayer, but we also know that all believers are called to pray as part of their ongoing relationship with the Lord. We want to see every follower of Jesus who is part of our movement actively engaged in the work of prayer in these months leading up to General Conference. Toward that end, we are creating monthly prayer guides, written by key leaders, that reflect a distinctly Wesleyan approach to prayer. In fact, the theme overarching the whole project is “The Way to the Kingdom,” which is the title of one of Wesley’s sermons. We want to help every person pray not just through our current impasse but all the way to God’s Kingdom purposes for the Global Methodist Church.
Each month’s prayer guide will include seven prayer points, all designed to help us pray beyond our current circumstances and toward the Kingdom of God. We will all learn together to pray for the unique challenges of the emerging global church. We’ll pray distinctly Methodist themes like scriptural Christianity, holy love, and Christian perfection, and we’ll pray Kingdom themes like peace, humility, and the catholic spirit. We all want to prepare ourselves spiritually to join what God is doing in the world and in our emerging movement, and we believe prayer is the work that will get us where we want to go. We hope this guide will inspire unity around core ideas that can shape us as a community of faith.
Friends, we do understand (oh my, do we understand) just how hard it is to wait for a gracious separation to finally happen. But while we wait, we are not without hope, nor without a strategy. We can pray. Jesus himself said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father” (John 14:12-13, NLT). Because Jesus is who Jesus is, we can accomplish great things through prayer, for the glory of God the Father.
In mid- to late-December be looking for our first prayer guide for January 2022. I look forward to praying in agreement with you throughout the coming year.
The Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore is the founding and lead pastor of Mosaic Church in Evans, Georgia. She also serves as the chairwoman of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Global Council. You can read her essays and listen to her podcasts by visiting her webpage: The Art of Holiness.
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