As cliche as that phrase can be, especially to a PK (pastor’s kid) who grew up in the pews of her dad’s church, it’s not just a big thing, I’m starting to see it’s the whole thing.
Growing up in the church, I think my parents kept a lot from me. But, even though I wasn’t exposed to all the specifics, I can tell you with total confidence, leading a church is not for the faint of heart.
I know it’s been hard-fought, required extreme faith and sacrifice. In all the ways you can imagine and in many ways you can’t. It’s been rewarding, too. Any life marked by obedience to God’s call is destined to be the biggest and best adventure you could imagine. Jesus was obedient to death, setting the ultimate example for us as believers.
I love my parents. I admire their sacrifice and am grateful for all that I’ve learned and inherited in my own life from their example. But, I’ve never felt compelled to intercede for them and their ministry, until recently.
It started with a verse I read in my quiet time and text to my dad to encourage him. He had experienced a few health set-backs and I wanted him to know that I was committed to praying for him every day.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4
This verse really struck me. When I read it I knew it was for my dad. I sent it to him, but couldn’t stop thinking about how he must feel. Weary of the burdens of the church and now a new health obstacle. Our church has grown to over 5000 in attendance, God is using the church and its people in amazing and transforming ways in our communities, why wouldn’t the enemy be threatened and do all he could to keep its leader tame? I believed this scripture was a promise for my dad, but thought, how can this come to be if we don’t ask God to make it so?
That day a seed was planted in my heart, born from scripture and confirmed through several unprompted conversations I had in the weeks following (that’s when you know the Spirit is whispering); a call to pray.
After a lot of prayer and collaboration with some amazing friends, I have what I believe to be a God-given idea.
A call to action. Some serious prayer action. We’re gonna pray circles around this dude until we’re dizzy and then we’re gonna pray some more.
We’re going to lift up the leader of my church; my dad, Steve Poe in his ministry, his marriage, his health and his leadership in a 31-day Social Prayer Circle. The idea of a prayer circle came from the “olden days” (and still today) when groups would gather in circles to unite in prayer, and also the idea from the book “Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, to pray bold, specific prayers in alignment with His word and purpose for our lives. It’s “social” by using the social tools, Facebook and Twitter, to launch and sustain it.
Here’s how you can be a part:
We invite you to pray every day, but ask that you choose a specific day of the week that you will commit to pray during a 31-day time period. To sign up, you simply join our Facebook group and once you’re notified that you’ve been added, leave a comment telling us which day of the week you want to pray. If you’re on Twitter, give us your handle (I’m @jennik80).
Each day, I will post a specific prayer focus for the day on Facebook and Twitter.
We’re really hoping to build community here, so when it’s your day to pray, let us know! Tell us when/where/what you’re praying that day, based on the given prayer focus.
If you’re on Twitter and/or Instagram, you can check in on your prayer day using the hashtag #socialprayercircle.
I believe this initiative will not only bless our leadership, but will foster community among participants and make us “one is spirit and purpose” (Phil 2:2). Prayer is key to opening the door for God to do the work.
Whether you’ve never held hands in a prayer circle and are new to this idea or you’re a prayer warrior longing for a way to unite with other believers, I believe this is a unique opportunity to come together and invite God to do something incredible. Something he’s just been waiting for us to ask Him to do.
“God has determined that certain expressions of His power will only be exercised in response to prayer. Simply put, God won’t do it unless you pray for it. We have not because we ask not … The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.” Mark Batterson, in “The Circle Maker”
I’m excited for the potential of this in my dad’s life, but also in the life of our church and in our personal lives, as well.
Please join us, beginning August 1, for our 31-day Social Prayer Circle and experience first-hand the power of prayer.
The prayer topics each day will be taken from a great resource I found called, “31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Revive Our Hearts. They’ve graciously given me permission to use this great prayer tool.