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A Sense of Calling

Did you ever feel a sense of the Lord’s calling on your life? Some people feel a call to pastoral ministry. Others a call to be a missionary to another culture or nation. Still others feel called to minister in a significant way to their communities, to fight poverty or social injustices. Some feel a calling to a business or secular career, which can be just as significantly a calling from the Lord.

For roughly 15 to 17 years now, I have felt a significant calling to focus on two things—actually they are basically the same, as you will see in a moment: 1. Equip, encourage, and challenge people—and churches—to pray; and 2. Encourage those who, like me, are from conservative Christian camps, not to be afraid of the Holy Spirit.

Why do I think those are the same? In Luke 11, Jesus tells the story of the guy who has a late-night visit from a friend. He has no food to offer his guest, so he goes banging on his neighbor’s door, pleading for some bread. You know the passage. Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. The story demonstrates perseverance in prayer, interceding—being a go-between. But then Luke says something life changing: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). Luke saw the connection between prayer and the activity of the Holy Spirit.

You see, my calling is to encourage people to pray. But the more we pray, the more we can discover the Spirit and presence of God at work in us, around us, and through us. As this issue of Prayer Connect clearly points out, we can’t put the Holy Spirit in a box or control Him. We can quench His work, though, through such things as personal or corporate sin, attempts to control Him, and refusal to let Him work.

But the more we pray, the more we open ourselves to the work of the Spirit. So I love to encourage people and churches to pray.

Why a Magazine?

But why a magazine on prayer? No one in his or her right mind is launching a magazine these days. And what does a magazine on prayer have to do with a calling?

The answer is simple: We are called to do it—using this format. In fact, not just those of us at Harvest Prayer Ministries and the Church Prayer Leaders Network (CPLN) feel this calling. Revivals in history have often spread because print media (magazines and newspapers) reported the testimonies of what God was doing. This fueled the passion of like-minded hearts, and sent believers to their knees, to be catalysts for revival in their own circles.

Many prayer ministry leaders believe that without a magazine on prayer, there is a void in the prayer movement. As a result, a number of ministries are sacrificing finances, personal time, and marketing space they would normally give to their own ministry advancement to see that Prayer Connect gets up and running. It is a calling.

We hope you will choose to subscribe to Prayer Connect, and that it will become a trusted resource. We pray we may serve you well as we encourage you to go deeper in prayer and to be more open to the work of the Holy Spirit within you. And we pray that, ultimately, you will be stimulated to respond to a calling to pray for revival and spiritual awakening.

Jonathan Graf

 

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