"Ye have not, because ye ask not." James 4:2
It has become a proverb that the last thing we think to do in any situation is to pray. An emergency appears, calling us to immediate action, which we all too gladly answer without first going to God for help and counsel. There seems to be, running alongside of this, a corollary in regards to things that we need. We wonder why we do not have what we need or even righteously desire, and the answer is so easy that we miss it: We have not because we ask not.
I rarely get biographical in these meditations, but I am after all a pastor of a church whose website you are current perusing. This church happens to be called Redeeming Cross Community Church in Minneapolis, MN. We are like any other relatively new church plant: in need of grace and, quite honestly, grace in the form of numbers. We are unspeakably grateful for our members, and yet we also need more.
Rather than spend months wringing our hands over this need, we have decided to take direct aim at the problem with direct prayer to God. Specific prayer. To be perfectly honest, we have already experienced this sort of thing in the annals of our own history. A few years ago we began praying for ten new households to join the church. Much to our surprise (which unmasked our unbelief), both individuals and families started showing up to church. And then they kept coming back. And then they wanted to join. In fact, one of our elders came from this incoming group. We installed a nice group into membership some time later and rejoiced greatly. However, somewhere along the way, we stopped praying.
Well, we are going to start praying again, and this time we're praying for 30 new members by December 30 (which happens to be the last Sunday on our present lease at Anthony Middle School). 30 by 30. This is not an ultimatum; it is the kind of specific request which we believe our most bountiful God delights in. Members, begin praying every day! Friends, would you please pray with us, that we might rejoice together in the Lord's amazing goodness to Redeeming Cross and to all of his churches? Indeed, start praying more specifically in your own life as well.