Submitted by: Mark Niu (Irvine, CA)
In response to bro. Minoru Chen’s Feb. 6 fellowship to the young adults in Irvine (see audio on www.livingtohim.com), about a dozen YA brothers have been getting together here on a regular basis to pray and fellowship concerning how the Lord might work out the YA burden in this locality.
Several weeks into this burden, we realized that one practical frustration to our achieving a vital living in a corporate way was the lack of relatedness among the young adults in our locality. Primary among the characteristics of a vital group is a condition of love. But how can one achieve a condition of love when, as practical matter, we neither know one another or spend any significant time in prayer for one another?
So we resolved to at least begin to become related among ourselves by calling one another during the week to open and pray for one another’s needs both immediate (health, personal needs) and general (overall vitality, the YA burden).
In order to prevent this prayer exercise from becoming unduly burdensome, though, we agreed to limit our times of prayer to no more than 10-15 minutes so as to not be overly disruptive in already busy schedules. Once we got into the exercise, though, most discovered thatÑcontrary to initial expectationsÑthere are ample opportunities during a typical week to have brief but living prayer with another brother (in the car, during coffee break, on the way home, while running errands).
Those participating made an informal pact to initiate 3 phone calls during any given week. These calls could be made to any of the participating YA brothers, but they need not be the same from week to week. The point of the exercise was to force us to get in the habit of calling and praying with brothers with whom we otherwise would not have had any opportunity for contact. This sort of calling was meant to be done in addition to or apart from regular established times (if any) with one or two definite companions.
While the endeavor is by nature a struggle, we are fighting to reverse a culture that has crept into our church life where the only reason one saint calls another is with an agenda in mind (e.g., calling to ask one to serve, coordinating over a meeting, requesting help either spiritual or personal, etc.). It’s nice to receive a random call once in a while for no purpose other than to get a little more related and blent in prayer.
We look to the Lord as our diligence in continuing this healthy and uplifting practice among us until the whole church has a culture of bearing one another in prayer!