I graduate from my internship in 32 days. Ah! This week my director challenged the trainees to consider what learning has been accomplished over the past eight months not from the classroom experiences that make up about 20% of my work time, but from living and working among a team that devotes itself to the development of Christian community in places where it does not yet exist.
As a group of people who are united by our commitment to following Jesus and helping other people to do the same, we pray together. Every morning we dedicate the first hour of our work day to prayer. Mondays through Thursdays we open by reading a chapter of Scripture together and then talking about it. The theological diversity of our community contributes to a lively conversation. Thursdays we add to our discussion an update on members of our team who are living all over the world. Fridays, instead of reading a chapter of the Bible we talk about the world headlines.
After we talk about the Bible, our global family, and current events, we let whatever we have talked about inform our prayers. If we talk about refugees in Myanmar, we pray for refugees in Myanmar. If we talk about Isaiah 46, which contrasts the carved idols of the Ancient Near East (which need to be carried by humans) to the God of Israel (who carries humans), we will pray to God, praising him for being the one who hears us.
The practice of educating ourselves as a group, then turning whatever we have learned over to the Lord in prayer, has made me a more strategic and expansive pray-er. I have added to my faith the responsibility of being aware of what God has done throughout history and welcoming his movement in the activities of the world today.