Friday, January 25, 2008

A Different Perspective

Today we marked day 25 in our New Year's Morning Prayer. The plan started out as 21 days of prayer in preparation for the "New Wine" based on a 21 day prayer guide by Chuck Pierce. On January 1st we started with 4 people. I was pleased, especially since the majority of the people in Matagalpa stayed up til after midnight on December 31. As the week progressed we finished with 8 people coming. The next week we had an average of 12 and the next week 21 people came on Monday and Tuesday and then it rose again to 24. Group desire was to continue and finish out the month. Monday 28 people came, Tuesday 28 again, Wednesday 29, Thursday there were 34 and today there were 29. God is doing something.

Each day is similar in that we read, meditate, share and pray... each day has it's own distinction and today's was a good one.

Today we placed the 30+ chairs facing out of the circle instead of towards the center. It was fun and interesting watching the people come in 1, 2, 3 at a time and start looking at the chairs. The first 5-10 people didn't even want to sit down.

"You're playing with our mind, Pastor," they said.

Bev and I sat down and began reading the verses for the day and soon all were somewhat doing the same, still uncomfortable and a bit nervous, but they followed our example. There was a bit more chatter than normal, there were one or two that just stood there and looked as they entered. One man sat down and got up looked around, sat down again for a moment and then got up again. Finally, he sat down, but couldn't read... he was uncomfortable.

After we broke into small groups to discuss the reading, we talked about sitting looking out of the circle instead of towards the center. The shared their feelings and we talked about the uncomfortableness. Some couldn't do their reading and meditation, others liked it better, all were affected some how.

"Why?" I asked. Because God wants us to have a new perspective. He wants us to look at things differently. He doesn't want us to get comfortable with the same ol' same ol'. Yesterday I mentioned Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch's book The Shaping of Things to Come and the need for change so we can continue growing and learning, and that was exactly the purpose of this morning's exercise in setting facing looking out of the circle.

Some key ideas I left the people with about sitting facing outward were:

  • we need to be made uncomfortable sometimes
  • we need a different perspective
  • we shouldn't focus on ourselves all the time
  • our help in not in ourselves
  • it's a better position for defense [if that is necessary]
  • we must go out to the nations
After chatting about the experience, we faced out again, prayed for a change in our perspective and the needs of the nations. Returning to face the center [it's not always bad, you know], we prayed for one another and then left for the day with a new commitment to give the nations what God has given us.

2 comments:

Tony said...

I like it! I would be interested if this exercise had any longer term effects.

Tony

Earl said...

We are working on changing our story... our program... our manner of thinking... old wine skins into new ones. From Friday to Thursday, 6 days, I can not say I see change, but they are coming as we look outward to see those with need.

We will continue facing outward until our eyes are open... being so self-centered for so long, it takes a while to break the scales off our eyes. So, pray that we be persistent in facing outward always.

Look at my post for today...