In October Joe Humrichous will be teaching at Manistique Bible Church. To help us prepare our minds and hearts for that time, I will be periodically posting various blog articles written by Joe. You can find more articles at www.paradigm1.org
Pray with Jesus Obviously Present and Actively in Charge
The first time I heard the words “Jesus Christ obviously present and actively in charge,” my mental lens for corporate revival focused like never before—and it has remained clear for over 30 years. I have asked many audiences to relate to me the potential of those 8 words. The response is always “unlimited.” When we allow Jesus to have His full way in our church, the only limitation would be the sovereignty of God and this gives us abounding hope. With that being said, we must never let our praying be autonomous, individualistic, and separated from Jesus. All our prayer circles must be a place where all agree together, welcome Christ’s presence, and let Him take charge. Our churches will be disconnected from prayer if prayer is disconnected from Jesus. Jesus alone adds life to our praying and our church. I’m stating the obvious when I say that all praying without Christ is empty ritual whether intentionally or unintentionally. Sometimes we neglect shepherding the prayer meeting and prayer drifts into a self-serving place. The life of prayer then goes away, and people stop coming because of the lack of vitality.
Let’s look at a strategic passage for practicing the presence of Christ in our praying.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell…” (Colossians 1:15-19)
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
Here we have two unspeakably grand themes about Jesus that are miraculous blessings to the church.
The majesty of Jesus (vv. 15-19)
The mystery of Jesus (v. 27)
All that we are longing for in the gospel community: transformation of lives, glory in the church, every man perfect in Christ, flows from on living fountain—“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This is the wow factor of the local church. This miracle is available to every church no matter what size, location, or culture. A church is a glorious church because of our glorious Lord—not because of its numbers, talents, or money. Every gospel-led church has this unquenchable hope.
The majesty of Christ and the mystery of Christ must be kept together in our servant leadership. We are like Paul said, “stewards of the mysteries of God,” (I Cor. 4:1). We do not serve well when we allow these two eternal dynamics to drift apart in the thinking of our praying people.
When prayer is in its proper place, we can participate in the very life of Christ with others. Hope always abounds in that place.