We launched our More of God series and the 60/60 Experiment on Sunday, February 3. We believe that the Lord wants us to have increased encounters and experiences with the Lord. A lot has happened in a week and half.
A Day of Power Encounters
For Ministry Time on Sunday, Feb. 3, I felt like the Lord wanted to give us power encounters with his Holy Spirit in order to make more room in our lives for Jesus to be at home (Ephesians 3:16-17). After getting Ministry Time started, I had the privilege to witness three such power encounters.
First, a young person came up to me to share a wonderful testimony. This teen had a power encounter earlier in the week where God answered prayer in a profound way. As I prayed for this teen, the joy of the Lord rose up in the teen’s heart. I believe this testimony is a first-fruit of answered prayer for our children, youth, and young adults to have their own encounters and experiences with God. Let’s keep on asking God for more.
Then, another person approached me for prayer. She needed direction and encouragement. The Lord touched her in power and grace. In the power encounter, the Lord was breaking off heaviness, despair, and discouragement. Thank you, Lord. She had to sit down as the Lord continued to do his gracious work.
A third person was waiting to visit with me. While waiting, two of our members went over to pray. God came with his powerful touch of love. It was a profound and emotional encounter of transforming love. Yep. God is good.
And, those are just the testimonies I know about first-hand. Our Ministry Teams saw God do so much more than I could share here.
Rhythm of sharing in Journey Groups and with Running Partners
Last week, we met in our Journey Groups to share together. We considered the following questions: What is getting stirred up in you as we launch this new series and as we do the 60/60 Experiment together? What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What are your expectations or desires?
It is normal for people to have different reactions to this emphasis. Some people will be excited. Some will feel challenged. Others will feel resistance.
There are different reasons for resistance. Here are a few. Maybe they have tried different spiritual disciplines before, and they didn’t work as they hoped. Maybe they don’t like trying new things. Maybe they are concerned about having a running partner. Maybe they are already walking in the gift of awareness and this practice feels like going backward. The list goes on.
We want to celebrate with those who are excited, support those who feel challenged, and be gracious, encouraging, and inviting to those feeling resistance.
We are simply asking people to “try on” the 60/60 Experiment and see what the Lord will do. They get to choose if they want to participate or not.
This week we get to meet with our Running Partners and share together. In the handout for the 60/60 Experiment, we have “How Are You Running?” questions that each Running Partner asks of one another. By having a Running Partner, we are growing in our capacity for authenticity (being open and honest). We are sharing from our times of intimacy with the Lord in our reading, praying, and practicing his presence through the 60/60 Experiment. And, we are seeking to align with the will of God in our capacity to be obedient to the Lord. Mutually accountable and supportive relationships help us in our journey.
The 60/60 Experiment
I am already hearing encouraging stories of people growing in their awareness and intimacy of the Lord through this spiritual practice. With the 60/60 Experiment, we want to go deeper in our relationship with the Lord and to experience more of his presence. Every 60 minutes, we want to connect with the Lord.
What do you do when your chime or watch alarm reminds you every 60 minutes to connect with the Lord?
Here are some suggestions or thoughts that can help you in this spiritual practice:
- Affection: turn your heart to the Lord in love and affection.
- What are some ways that you can express your love to the Lord?
- Maybe just simply pray, “Lord, I love you.”
- Awareness: ask the Lord to help you grow in your awareness of his presence.
- I want to recognize that the Lord is here, with me, right now.
- The Lord is at work all around me.
- Just turn your awareness to the Lord. Or, maybe ask: “Lord, what are you doing or saying that I can bless?”
- Attentive: we want to be attentive to the Lord.
- Remember: A listening heart is prayer.
- We want to grow in our capacity to be attentive or to turn our attention to the Lord.
- Available: we want to grow in our availability to the Lord.
- Maybe ask: “What does the Lord want me to do?”
- Maybe pray: “Lord, I am here for you and available to you.”
Those are some phrases or prayers that I use when my alarm reminds me to connect with the Lord.
What helps you connect with the Lord and become aware of his presence?
May the Lord use this season in your life to help you encounter and experience more of God.