Event: April 5,6 & 7 - Interactive Prayer Journey at Edmond Adventist Church *details below
Because I claim Jesus's name by identifying as a Christian, I find myself often looking to His life and example. How did He treat people? What sort of message did He convey through His words and actions? How did He relate to His Heavenly Father?
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus was able to do some pretty spectacular things. His miraculous healings and profound teachings tend to steal the show, but do we miss out on other blessings by ignoring the “quieter” side of His daily walk? If we are willing to lean in and look a bit closer, there is evidence in both the teachings and habits of Jesus that unveil a life of prayer that He found to be integral to His soul.
In the gospel of Matthew 6:6, Jesus taught us how to pray by saying, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, Who is unseen.” I take that as not a correction against public or corporate prayer, but instead as a reminder of the importance of making space for a private and intimate prayer life between each person and their God. With our Creator, we are fully known, yet fully loved, so we are safe to come to Him with any and all requests or praises.
In Mark 1:35 and Luke 4:42, we find that in Jesus’s life, he placed such importance on His personal communion with the Father that He sought out “desolate” and secret places to pray, uninterrupted and undistracted.
With so many different ways to pray, I don’t think God is as concerned about how we pray, as much as He is concerned with us actually viewing it as important and something we desire. Sometimes we may feel like prayer is pointless, or boring, or unimportant, but our feelings are not Lord… Jesus is. As a child of God who can “come boldly to the throne of grace,” (Hebrews 4:16) why would I not want to make use of that special privilege and invitation?
A few years ago, we hosted an Interactive Prayer Journey at the Edmond Seventh-day Adventist Church. I’ll be honest and admit that I was a bit hesitant to give it a try, but it turned out to be an immense blessing and experience. As I made my way through the eight different “prayer stations” positioned throughout our building, the intentional time alone with God left me with a newfound love for prayer. It was an incredible reminder that I can always come to God as I am, bringing my burdens and praises with me!
This year we’re bringing the Interactive Prayer Journey back, and have even included new stations, especially for children. Any and all are welcome to attend this event on April 5-6 from 6 pm to 8 pm, April 7 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, and it’ll also be open until 5 pm on Sabbath April 8. Won’t you swing by and spend some time in communion with your God? You never know… it could be the spark that leads to a transformed prayer life.
by :: TJ Sands
About the Author: TJ Sands is an ordained Adventist Pastor living in Edmond, Oklahoma. He loves being outdoors and admiring God’s beautiful creation. He’s a passionate “people person” and enjoys connecting with folks of all ages, cultures, and beliefs. He and his wife, Sarah have been married for 4 years. TJ aims, through his preaching and daily life, to help others understand how much they are loved by God, and how they can live out their faith in practical ways. He has a heart for helping people find hope, healing, and wholeness in difficult times. The greatest truth he wishes to share is that there is a God, and He looks like Jesus.