09 Jun Summer LINK Raleigh: Unless the Lord Builds the House
Posted at 21:32h in Raleigh
Summer LINK Raleigh: Unless the Lord Builds the House
A verse that seems to fit my thoughts on this first week of Summer LINK is Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” This truth radically changes my initial attitude toward the summer.
As I have often done, my preliminary thoughts on the summer were focused on what I was going to do and not do. My hopes and fears were filled with thoughts of diligent work that I would do to produce fruit for the kingdom, but a fear of the slothfulness that hinders this. These are not necessarily bad thoughts, but they are certainly incomplete.
Conviction about the incompleteness and sinfulness of my initial mindset came on Monday at our team’s first Equip Night at the house of Tim Brannigan—the Director of Missions at Open Door. It was an evening of godly hospitality and freaking cool stories from Tim and Nancy’s early missionary career, but what struck me most was the discussion on prayer towards the latter part of the evening.
The Holy Spirit stirring a desire for a deeper prayer life in my heart has been especially potent the last few months, and one of the impetuses has been noticing that every Christian that has done much for the fame of God’s name has also had a deep prayer life. After hearing about Tim’s life, I wanted to verify this observation with him, too. And sure enough, my suspicions were valid. This man’s prayer life certainly humiliates me—and I’m guessing it does the same for many believers around me. The most astonishing statements Tim made that have stuck with me are “One of the most fun things for me to do is pray” and “When we pray, we see God work.” My heart has been meditating on these statements ever since.
Do I have fun when I pray? Do I really enjoy God through prayer? Or are many of my prayers cold obligations? Sadly, I think many times the latter question is the only one that receives an affirmative. And I believe joyful prayers like Tim’s are much more fruitful than cold prayers of obligation because they are rooted in the supremacy and satisfaction of Christ. For any fruit to come from SummerLINK, our teams and churches must be saturated in this God-satisfied prayer. And if our prayers are not at this point, we must pray until we are happy in Christ—we must pray until it is “fun.”
And even more so, do I really believe God works through my prayers? Do I think I can accomplish anything for the kingdom apart from prayer? The answers to these questions are often pitiful as well. But the truth that Tim proclaimed—that when we pray we see God work, and the truth in Psalm 127—that unless the Lord builds the house we labor in vain, are so liberating. The liberation lies in their taking focus off of us and onto God Himself. The summer is no longer about what we will or won’t do, the summer is about what God will do. All we must do to take part in the Holy Spirit’s work by having the “fun” of praying.
So, in conclusion, to gather what I’ve learned from the first week of Summer LINK: Unless the Lord builds Summer LINK, we labor in vain. To broaden the truth, unless the Holy Spirit makes disciples through the local church, we labor in vain. So let us beg God, beg him to work. Let’s eagerly yearn to have the joy of seeing the Holy Spirit change lives in ways impossible for us, all for the glory of Christ. Let’s spend this summer learning how to pray until it’s fun, so that we can look back on the summer and see fruit for the kingdom, the strengthening of the local church, and glory to Christ.
By: Tyler Perkins