Do you pray? If not, I encourage you to talk with God. Whatever you believe, you will lean even more into the person you were created to be and experience life differently when you do.
Last Thursday was the national day of prayer; of which I am not a huge fan. My lack of enthusiasm is partly due to the fact that we tend to create super fancy and complicated experiences around a practice that should be so simple, but (as usual) my wife straightened me out. I’ll try to have a better attitude next year.
The national day of prayer is encouraging because it reminds me of how many people really believe in God and seek Him on a regular basis. This is reassuring amid all of the reports and statistics constantly telling us church leaders that nobody believes in God anymore and society has moved on.
This year, the 801South team took advantage of the day and got together with several other churches through the For Charlotte network. Thanks to the passionate leadership of Casey Crimmins and Jon Freeman, over 10 churches of different doctrines and denominational histories gathered together, setting aside any differences, to simply pray for our community. We prayed for one another. We prayed for the civic leaders of our community. We talked with God about the heartache many people experience in our community and the powers and systems that often times place people in a position of heartache.
People may assume that churches get together for events like this on a regular basis, but according to several church leaders who have served in Charlotte for a long time, this is an exception rather than the norm. I am excited to see leaders gathering together based on what we hold in common rather than allowing our differences to keep us apart. I’m convinced we will do much more together than we would ever do on our own.
There is small group of pastors who have been a lifeline to me over this past season of life. We gather once a month to share struggles, celebrate victories, and pray for one another. We also have a group text message through which we regularly use humor and scripture to entertain and encourage one another. I often hear pastors say that this is a lonely calling and career. I am very grateful to have a community in place so that I can’t say the same.
I’m excited for the ways that churches, especially here in Southeast Charlotte, are getting over themselves and getting out of their lanes to gather together, seeking God’s will for our city. One of my favorite sayings of Rob Kelly, the CEO of For Charlotte, is that Charlotte is not a city with a lot of churches. Instead, Charlotte has one church with many expressions. How good is that?? Whether it’s for a specific occasion like the national day of prayer or just a quick lunch meeting, we will benefit from church leaders gathering together and discerning ways we can join in the mission of God to redeem all of the city.
When we seek Him, we find Him.