This is our third “taster” extract from the book TOGETHER – Life Changing Perspectives To Inspire Youth Ministry, with comment. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here. This time we will look at “Landmark” 3 in the book – covering the subject of “Prayer – a life of intimacy and involvement” by Alain Emerson. Alain is leader of 24-7 Prayer Ireland, which he balances with pastoral responsibility in Emmanuel Church, Lurgan.
Taster 3: “A groundswell of prayer is gathering momentum as Jesus-followers all over the land realise that, counter to what our culture is saying, this is a time of opportunity. We are finding inspiration from ancient paths and saints such as Patrick, Kevin, Ciaran, Brigid, Columba and many others. They understood prayer as an invitation to intimacy … Yet they are arguably the best examples in Church history of how prayer also involves us in God’s purposes. They became the answers to their own prayers. The presence of God fed them inwardly but propelled them outward. They imagined a different world to the prevailing culture around them. And realised the destiny of the nations was bound up in their prayers.”*
In his chapter of TOGETHER – Life changing perspectives to inspire youth ministry, Alain charts the course of his discovering, while still a teenager, the gift of prayer as a dynamic reality flowing from the heart of God, our Abba Father. He acknowledges that for many their experiences of prayer in church have been off-putting, indeed spiritually deadening, and gives helpful insights into how we can (re-)discover, both individually, and corporately, the intimacy and freshness of prayer as it was always meant to be. But this, as Alain clearly points out isn’t where prayer should end; out of this place and rhythm of prayer, Jesus then calls us to a walk of involvement with Him where He is as we live out the implications of praying “Thy Kingdom come!”
‘TOGETHER – Life changing perspectives to inspire youth ministry’ is a recently published book written by several youth leaders working in different parts of Ireland to help and inspire other youth leaders. This is also going to be a very helpful and informative read for anyone with a real desire to be more effective in their Christian witness and learn from the combined experience of the leaders who have come together to write this book. You can buy paper copies from any Faith Mission or Scripture Union bookshops, online from the website here and it’s also available to download for Kindle from the Amazon website. To keep up to date with what’s happening check out the TOGETHER Facebook page here and you’ll find lots more information about the authors, the vision and lots more on their website here.
*Extracts used with permission