John's Journey in Prayer
“I’m broke. You fix. I’m yours.” My journey of prayer begins with a simple prayer. I am a disillusioned, confused, fearful pot-smoking teen. I’m not sure if there is a God. If so, I do not know if He will heal me. But God hears. The moment I pray the darkness lifts. The knot of pain dissolves. A river of peace floods in my soul.
A few months later I am in Switzerland at a community called L’abri – which means ‘shelter’. It is a community devoted to prayer. Before and after every meal there is prayer, often quite lengthy. I learn thankfulness. Each week we gather to pray for two hours, and an evening prayer service. I learn to expect answers to prayer. I learn to worship in prayer. Once a month we take a day to pray. I learn to wait in prayer. I join a prayer study. I learn to keep a prayer list. At L’abri I imprint on prayer. I learn to navigate life through prayer.
A few years later, with my wife Caron, I am planting a church. We learn that genesis and renewal of a church only happens through prayer. We are what we pray. What we pray is what we become. A church that prays little, weighs little. A church that prays much weighs much.
Seven years later I am directing a national strategy of church planting. I find few leaders are deep in prayer. Most are dry and withered. We close some plants and others are crippled. One planter laments, “When the troubles came, they came hard. I was spiritually unprepared for the attacks.” I feel like an accomplice. From that day on I commit to prayer and prayer training. By God’s grace, whatever else, we will start churches that are trained in prayer. I commit myself to become a man of prayer.
At the same time we are raising five teens. They are beautiful, but like their mom and dad, at times they choose to learn through experience rather than wisdom. We learned to parent through prayer.
In the next stage of the journey we are church planting in Vancouver. We begin the mission with a sixteen week prayer meeting. We hold prayer training every year. We preach on prayer, do “prayer and planning,” and days of prayer and fasting. God blesses as we pray. He strengthens us to become a ‘city-soluble’ church. We reach out to the sexually exploited, the homeless, international students, and artists.
God chooses to bless our prayer training too. Over the years we have trained hundreds of Christians and churches in many cities.
Prayer Current flows out of this history and experience. We often fail – but God lifts us and dissolves our pain as we cry out to him in prayer. Prayer Current is a commitment on our part. We will be men and women of prayer. We know that our life and practice will match our words and mission as Christ leads us to navigate life in prayer.