I see life as being part of God’s mission to the world through Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit. In other words, daily life is the place I get to interact with God, see what he’s up to in our world and draw people’s attention to him. This is what I mean when I talk about life on mission.
Sadly, for some mission is all about doing. We know that we should be missional – Jesus commanded that we tell the world about him, and so we slug it out with drudged determination. Is it any surprise we end up discouraged, exhausted, feeling guilty for not doing enough?
Jesus doesn’t want to feel this way. Life on mission is not meant to be like this. Instead life on mission begins with relationship. It starts with prayer. Here are 3 things I’ve prayed that have helped me be on mission.
3 Things to Pray to Help Empower Life on Mission
1. Pray to See What God is Doing
Incarnational is always one of the buzz words of mission. It’s about going and ‘being’ Jesus among people. I like the concept – we should show people what is like is, but I just need to say one thing, we don’t need to take Jesus, the Holy Spirit has beaten us to it. He’s already there.
David Fitch tells the story of his morning coffee work routine. He was challenged to see MacDonald’s as the ‘arena of God’s Spirit at work instead of merely a place to do my own work. Instead of seeing the hundreds of people that pass by candidates for my ‘Come to Jesus’ speech, I was challenged to see this place as a vibrant arena where God was truly present.’
It makes a huge difference to life on mission to see what God is doing. It reminds you that it’s God’s work. This can be liberating because sometimes we try more than we possibly could and beat ourselves up for doing more evangelism. Remember, it’s not up to you; it’s God’s work.
Living your life in a way that you are constantly aware of what God is doing around you and asking for courage from God to join in God’s action in the world.’
2. Pray for Opportunities to Join God’s Work
Even though it’s not all up to you, God invites you to participate in his work. I love what Gwen Adams wrote in her post last week about why she fights against sex slavery in Alaska:
‘I know the heart of my God is broken over this issue and He is on a mission of freedom. He asked if I would join Him, suffer with Him, fight with Him and even cheer with Him as each small victory is won. I simply said YES.’
Talk about intentional mission. But God also invites us to join him every day in the people we meet. Isn’t this what Jesus did with the Samaritan woman? Think about the people who you interact with all the time. Are you praying for opportunities to join the Spirit’s work of proclaim Jesus? Do you ask questions that help you where they need the gospel?
Gloria Furman has a good in the recent book Joyfully Spreading the Word:
‘In Christ, God is reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them! God has entrusted to us this message of reconciliation. Yes, make lists for a grocery run, show up at the homeowners’ association meeting, schedule the appointments, catch the subway, renew your driver’s license, and do what you need to do, but go knowing you are being sent by God as an ambassador. The passionate, committed, resilient imploring that we do is not for our own sakes, to build our own reputations among women as “nice people”—it is on behalf of Jesus Christ himself, who hung on a cross and was made to be sin for us’
3. Pray for Others to Join in
When I was really bored I used to play cards with myself . I would deal out hands and ‘pretend’ that I could play each hand unbiased. I did the same thing on the pool table. Even though I got fairly good, these things never lasted long. I guess, some things aren’t meant to be done alone.
Life on mission falls into this category. It should never be a one man show. It seems that mission was a natural outworking of discipleship for the church in Acts. Acts 2:42-47 paints a rich of followers of Jesus who grew as disciples. They devoted themselves to teaching (i.e. the gospel), community, prayer, and breaking bread, and as a result their message spread. In other words, as the New Testament believers grew together they naturally grew outward.
While our gatherings may never look like the New Testament church, growing together is how God has designed us to become disciples and carry his mission. Jeff Vanderstelt sums it up well:
‘God calls every one of us into an intimate and dynamic relationship with him that cannot be fully experienced apart from being in a community of disciples sent together to make disciples. This is how he designed us and this is what he rescued us for. It is in community that we learn to be loved and to love and it is on mission that we experience the power and presence of God at work in us and through us.’
What can you pray in your life on mission?