Note: Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing reflections from Karin Daun, a VisionTrust Board of Directors member who recently returned from a short-term trip to Peru.
Prayer Invites the Presence of the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit was in control of the trip from the beginning. Why? Because it was out of our control. Although we had no physical church that was supporting us, we had God who was telling us to “Go and make disciples”. He reminded us that as the body of believers, we are the church.
So, we prayed. We prayed for a team. We prayed that the team would be cross generational. We prayed that we would surrender to God’s will and that He would be glorified. We needed 10 people to make it a team.
As God often does, He exceeded all expectations and provided a team of 21 people. Team members were from nine different church buildings and three different states. A third of the group was “the next generation”. For the majority of the group, it was their first mission trip. For most, it was their first exposure to VisionTrust.
The team members did not know each other, but that did not matter because the Holy Spirit was deeply rooted in our trip and in our team. It was the most diverse mission team that I have been a part of, yet the level of unity was only something that could be accomplished through the Holy Spirit.
Prayer was a major part of our preparation.
At all of our team preparation meetings, we prayed. We prayed as we packed. We prayed as we served.
This was the most prayerful mission I’d been a part of, yet at what would seem to be full prayer coverage, God showed me that He desires more.
The first day at the Maranatha Learning Center, we had two team members praying in one hour shifts. I wanted to document this so I took a picture of our first two “prayer warriors”. When I turned around, six of the Maranatha staff were praying as they did every day before the kids arrived, which caused me to pause and reflect.
Although dedicating some of our team solely to prayer felt like a natural decision, it is unfortunately “unusual” for teams to prioritize prayer over active service.
Still, God’s lesson in prayer had just begun. As we sat eating our lunch, overlooking the sanctuary, we noticed about a dozen people praying. We asked one of our leaders about this and learned that Maranatha Church has people praying and fasting every day from 5:30 AM until 4:00 PM.
No wonder they have peace, joy and love abounding. They are not constrained by their circumstances, but live in the hope of eternity with Christ. No wonder they see miracles! No wonder the Holy Spirit was so present in that church and Learning Center!
“Holy Spirit, You are Welcome Here”
Later, we listened to Christian worship songs as we painted and, “Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here”, came on.
God was finishing the lesson that I needed to learn.
The chorus goes:
“Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord
Your presence, Lord”
The Holy Spirit was filling that place because He was welcome in that environment of prayer and praise. But do I create an environment that truly welcomes the Holy Spirit every day? I fear I do not.
I get distracted with all the things I “need” to do. They all have deadlines and appear to be priorities so the Holy Spirit patiently waits, and waits… and waits. I miss out on the “immeasurably more” that God can do when I welcome His Holy Spirit.
My prayer is that I can behave in a manner that reflects God as my priority every day. To behave in a manner that demonstrates that I truly believe what the words of the song go on to say…
“There’s nothing worth more
That could ever come close
No thing can compare
You’re our living hope
Your presence, Lord
I’ve tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone
Your presence, Lord”
And that as the final refrain says…
“Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness”
If God were to answer all of your prayers from the past 12 months, every last one of them, would the world change? Or just your world?
This question causes me to pause, reflect and pray more boldly. I am now praying for the “immeasurably more” that God can and will do as we seek, surrender and serve Him. Holy Spirit be welcome in my life!
*Be sure to follow along as we continue to share Karin’s story over the next few weeks.