16th January 2020
Shortly after our Vision Sunday last October, where I called the church to a 21-day period of prayer and fasting in January, I attended an excellent session about prayer at the Learning Community at Kingsgate, Peterborough. One of the speakers, Larry Stockstill, shared a very helpful framework for thinking about how our prayer lives can grow and mature, which he called the 3 Ds of Prayer: Desire, Discipline, Delight.
Most of us have a desire to pray more. I certainly resonate with that sentiment – I often feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to draw aside and pray. Yet too often, other things seem to take priority, and before we know it, the opportunity has gone.
Larry challenged us with the statement that the gateway to prayer is discipline. No fancy method, no silver bullet! In the end we have to make time in our daily schedules – to sit in a chair, go for a walk or use the daily commute, whatever works for us. Pete Greig, in his excellent book How to Pray, encourages us when praying to ‘keep it simple, keep it real and keep it up’! If we want to pray, we must start by disciplining ourselves to do it!
The fruit of allowing the desire to lead to discipline is delight. Once we begin to set aside regular time to pray on our own or gather with others, joy follows. This is becoming my testimony. I look forward to my prayer times; I feel the lack if I miss them.
Desire, Discipline, Delight. As a church we had a desire to pray together more. That desire prompted us to discipline ourselves to commit three weeks in January to daily corporate prayer meetings. And delight is our testimony! We are at Day 11 of our 21 Days, and it has been a remarkable ten days so far. The church has turned out each evening consistently, in numbers, with an enthusiasm and hunger to pray. And as we have gathered, God has come.
So let’s keep following the prompting of the Holy Spirit to gather together as a church as we move through week two of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. We go again tonight, 7-8pm, on the Catford site. I hope to see you there!
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.