Posted by: Ed | September 1, 2009

RISK… PRAYER & THE Weekend that Was

More than usual this weekend was the culmination of a week. We went into this weekend having finished up our WEEK of PRAYER that I have been talking about here & on Facebook. It was an amazing week.

  • People signed up to pray for hour blocks of prayer all week. I heard so many cool things about these hours.
  • There was never a minute of the week, day or night, in which prayer wasn’t arising from Journey
  • We gathered every evening for prayer. Each night was unique. Each one surprised me with how many people came.
  • Lots of people fasted during the week, many for more than one day. It was cool.
  • There was definitely as sense of being in this together!

So it’s not hard to imagine that the weekend following ALL THAT would be stellar. It was on the RISK aspect of prayer. The unique thing about the weekend was collage of stories that we featured.


It started as this floating idea with the working title, “GOD IN THE SUMMER.” We were hearing of all these wonderful things God was doing & I thought we have got to share this with people it would build faith. _DSF0829We had this segment slated for this weekend a few weeks ago & as were trying to figure out how to fit it in the idea came. What if this IS the message? It was a Holy Spirit moment; a God speaks up in a meeting! Maybe all those invocational prayers at the beginning of these meetings aren‘t just a ritual.

All was well until the run through Friday about 5:30. I don’t usually go to the run-throughs. But frankly it just seemed like it was falling flat.
To complicate matters, or maybe just make them more personal, a guy I surf with, whom several of us have been inviting to check out a service for months picked this weekend to show up. One of his former students had been leaning on him hard to get there before summer’s end and there he was.

As we started worship, I was gripping. I was lacking faith & wrestling till the 3rd song. Then the voice of the Lord (Check out Psalm 29:4) broke through.  3 phrases came strongly & graciously to me. “This is a chance to love God as you preach.”  “You can love me by trusting me” & finally. “I got this.” Huh. “I GOT this.” For me when the still small voice speaks, I usually have a picture of what he’s talking about. It was like I knew – I got your friend’s 1st time here, I got this different out of control thing we’re trying, you just love me in your speaking & preaching.” So cool! It was like a cloud lifted.


Everyone that shared had a faith-building, risk-inducing word. I especially liked the way it ended, only wishing we could have devoted more time to it. We have been ending all these talks in the prayer series giving a minute to interact with God. Here’s what came on the screen:



* What risks does God want to talk to me about?

* What risky prayers does God want me to pray? (make a slide of sample risky prayers)


* Speak, Lord, I think I’m finally ready to listen.

* I want to live life to the full, no regrets. So show me what’s holding me back.

* What is the next step for me & You, God?

* Jesus, I’m tired of avoiding this decision, I give my life to you.


The weekend went GREAT. Lots of people showed up. I’m getting cool follow up emails. People’s faith was built up seeing God at work in our midst.

I’m praying for a new normal for us! For you! For me!



  1. Ed and Journey,

    How fantastic that you are focusing on prayer… it’s like you are spending less time reading the owner’s manual of our cars, and just start DRIVING.

    Both are important, but prayer really is where the rubber hits the road.

    Celebrating your worship of our Lord with you,


  2. The sermon felt like our own version of the leadership summit – inspiring and connecting, plus great to hear from other people.

    I just have a few quick thoughts:

    1) I’m already missing the prayer vigils
    2) Loved the St. Bruce quote
    3) There is a zen term called “beginner’s mind.” I know we’re a Christian church but when you kept saying we need to forget what we think we know and learn to pray again, I couldn’t help thinking of “beginner’s mind” in meditation. It’s the same application. (Also analogous to being like a child again).

    I’m still mulling over the topic of risk in my own life and feel the panic coming on as I take on more “stuff.” It’s hard to find the balance between risk and being still. In treatment we call it titrating the anxiety. I’m trying to remember that we often “catch the best waves when out a little too far.” Thank you!

  3. Awesome Praise reports from each person who changed their normal to honor his way of normal. His way of normal is ruling over powers and principalities of darkness so the Lights can shine through to those who need to walk the way he walks. Fearless and faithful to Love one another as seasons come and seasons go, Love never fails. Open Heavens of Love shined through this message. Tears of joy came through so many people who listened to the letter of thanksgiving for the child who was able to attend the summer camp at Journey. Now that was a God Loving moment of thanksgiving and praise.

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