30 Minute Listening Prayer Exercise Before You Start Something New.
Planting new ministries is an adventure that God takes us on. It's an exciting journey that takes us to places we could never have imagined, and we get to see God's glory as our friends and family step into new life and community in Christ. But before we jump into the strategy, goals and party planning, we must first seek the Lord in prayer.
Starting a new bible study or ministry is always something that God is doing. He initiates it, sustains it and grows it- and we are the partners to God's already unfolding glory on campus. Prayer is the thing that launches us into the great journey Jesus has for us in starting something new. Here is a 30 minute prayer practice you can use to discern if Jesus is inviting you to start something nuevo on campus:
1. Stop. Take 5 minutes to sit in silence. Use this time to let distractions fall away. If possible, turn off/silence your phone. You can also use what is commonly known as the “Jesus prayer” to settle your heart as you prepare to meet Jesus. Used by the ancient Christian mystics, it reads: “Have mercy on me Lord Jesus, a sinner.” This can have a powerful impact as we center ourselves in Christ.
2. Reflect. Reflect on the passage Matthew 9:35-38.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
3. See. A powerful component of this passage is that Jesus 'sees' the crowds in the fullness of their condition: harassed, helpless and like sheep without a shepherd. What do you ‘see’ when you reflect on the Latino community on your campus?
4. Notice. What do you think the spiritual reality of the Latino community on your campus is? Where do you see Jesus at work in the Latino community your campus? What feelings/thoughts come up as you reflect on this?
5. Ask. What (if any) invitation do you feel that Jesus is giving you in light of this reflection?
6. Commit. If you have heard from Jesus and know that you are being invited to start something nuevo on campus, it’s time to tell someone. Talk to your staff worker, friends, family or community. Ask them to keep you accountable to what Jesus has invited you into. Reach out for coaching or resources at LaFePlanting.org.
7. Thank. Take some time to thank Jesus for speaking. Enjoy His goodness and faithfulness. Write down the ways in which you feel gratitude and hope, you'll want to remember this experience in the coming weeks.