John, a leader in a church I assisted as a consultant, admitted to me what I’d heard before from seminary students and church leaders alike: “Dr. Lawless, I don’t always pray like I should. I know better, but prayer isn’t easy.”
I’ve heard something similar so many times that I’ve begun asking for more details. These findings are anecdotal, but here are my general conclusions about why church leaders struggle with prayer.
Many years ago I prayed a prayer that has changed me more than any other. It changed my vocation, location, orientation and just about every other “ation” in my life. What was the prayer?
“God, I don’t ask you for much today. I just ask that You give me Your heart for lost people.”
Twenty words. Twenty-one syllables. Seventy letters. One request.
It's not a big church. It's not a new church. It's not a really old church, either. But Agape Assembly of God (AG) in Waterloo, Ind., has become a praying church--with signs and wonders following.
Pastor Tom "Nedd" Neddersen with his wife, Kim, both retirees, have pastored Agape Assembly of God in Waterloo for more than seven years. The Neddersens had spent the previous 10 years as bivocational ministers in California.
Recently, a hospital stay spurred the Neddersen's to lead their small church of about 40 members into spiritual battle through prayer and fasting.
"Back in August, we as a church started praying for the sick and our nation," Neddersen says. "I had just come out of the hospital and decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Neddersen contacted a local AG evangelist, Tyron Moore, to come and help him to pray over the church. He also called the church to prayer and fasting starting Sept. 1 to Jan. 1. Since Sept. 1, the power of the Holy Spirit has been more than evident.