Do you think I’m pushy? I don’t think so. I know I didn’t come to “shake things up” but some people think I have. There have been times when I was sent into a situation that was so broken that tremendous change was not only healthy but very necessary. However, Asbury Church is NOT such a situation. I have just sweated through the nominations process with more prayer than I have at any other church. You see, things are good here at Asbury. We have good leaders in the right positions. If anything, I’d like to make as few changes as possible as I am getting to know the people and the traditions here at Asbury….BUT…I think may be it might be good to be pushy in some ways…
Ever hear of the acronym: “Pray Until Something Happens?” It’s P.U.S.H! I don’t want to be pushy in line or in life. I don’t want to step on or over anyone unfairly. I don’t want to take anything by force or threat of force. I do very much want to pray until something happens. Will this make me PUSH-y?
Every week members and guests at Asbury Church have the option of filling out a connection card…you know…the blue cards with the giant “HEY!” on the front. Many people use these cards to check in, to request more information, to help us update information and more. Some pour out their most heart-felt requests in expectation that the prayer team at Asbury Church will add their prayers to the ones already being lifted. Without being asked, I have “pushed” my way onto the prayer team. I receive the cards and hold onto them for at least a week. I thumb through them prayerfully beginning when I receive them on Monday. Usually on Thursday I send an email to each one who put their name on a prayer request to let them know that I am praying for them and their request. I also ask for them to share with me how they are seeing answers to the prayers we are jointly praying. You see, I expect God to answer our prayers. I am often surprised by the way God answers our prayers. What answers have you received to your prayers?
Prayer is a relationship. Prayer is much more than the words we recite hastily before a meal or the desperate appeals made when all else has been tried. There is value in those prayers. However, the deeper prayer is the one lived day in and day out. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tells an unusual story about a widow and an unjust judge. In this story, the judge eventually grants justice to the widow because of her persistence. While God is NOT like an unjust judge, God does hear and honor the prayers of those who love him. From this story, Jesus indicates that God values persistence and consistency in our prayer lives. Prayer is a process and a way of life and not just a “once and done” event. Literally, Jesus is inviting us to be PUSH-y…to pray until something happens. (see also 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
How often do you pray? Could you be accused of being PUSH-y? It is my deep desire to walk with God and have my life conform to God’s standards. I very much want to be a God-pleaser in all I do. I check in often with Our Father…sometimes to make sure I am on the right path and sometimes to praise God for all that is good and right in my life. I also ask for things…sometimes big things. I am far more bold in making requests on behalf of others than I am for myself. I know I am blessed and I want you to be even more blessed than I am. All this praying until something happens…I guess this makes me a PUSH-y pastor. I’m also guessing that you’re glad I’m PUSH-y. What might I pray for on your behalf today?
Peace & Prayers,
Tom Newman, Lead Pastor