I am the product of prayer. For over a decade, as I ran further and further away from God, my father faithfully prayed for me every day. He felt the Lord tell him simply to pray that God’s Kingdom would come in my life.
At 26-years-old in London, knowing nothing of my father’s prayers for me, I heard the - almost - audible voice of the Lord say; ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God’. This began an extraordinary chain of events where Jesus reached into the mess of my life and rescued me. Almost immediately, in his kindness, he sent me on mission - far away from my old life. He sent me to a place where I would be broken down and put back together; to discover God’s heart for the weak and the poor, and to find that of course, I was one of them.
So, it was my father who taught me to pray; not through words but by how he lived his life. He taught me to pray persistent prayers that go on through the years, even when it looks like they are not being answered.
This kind of intercession has become a staple part of my life following Jesus Christ. One of the ways I’ve found most helpful is to attach a physical place to a particular prayer. So every day when I shower, I have about 8 people whom I pray for. I asked the Spirit to give me specific prayers for each of them. It’s now such an ingrained habit that I have developed the equivalent of a muscle memory. Every time I step into the shower, my mind and my spirit begin to engage in the prayers almost automatically.
None of these prayers have yet been fully answered, which somehow encourages me that I’m on the right track.
Nick and his wife Georgina recently helped lead at Catalyst, our youth camp just before Christmas. It was their first time and they spoke powerfully about the gifts of the Spirit.