This is the third instalment in our ongoing look at how prayer and church planting work together to see a Church Planting Movement (CPM) or Disciple Making Movement (DMM) emerge.
Last web post we looked at People of Peace (PoPs). DMM workers pray fervently that God will lead them to such people who are already seeking and open to meet with Jesus. As they pray, they try to sow widely (parable of the sower, Matt 13).They do this in the number of ways but the most fruitful practice I know is something we call “shema” statements, sometimes called fishing.
Shema is the Hebrew name for the prayer prayed from Deuteronomy 6:4. Verses 5-9 talk about the inward and outward way we should practice scripture. It is a blueprint for a lifestyle of teaching ourselves about God’s law and showing others around us that we love God.
When we are asked how much we pay for rent an example response of a Shema statement might be saying “Praise God that he has given us enough money for our needs. Do you feel like God is providing for your needs?” This will give us a good opportunity to see if the person is inclined to spiritual conversation or not.
A team mate of mine met a lady and from the first meeting she spoke about spiritual things. When this lady’s husband was out of work, we prayed with her and he found work 4 days later. When she had a miscarriage and couldn’t fall pregnant again, we prayed with her and that month she fell pregnant with twins and now she has 2 beautiful baby girls. Praying with friends and strangers is a great statement of our faith in God and shows His power to do miracles and be involved in our lives.
We often get used to living our faith privately because we come from highly individualistic cultures but how often is the message missed. The last thing we would want is for people to see the love of God in us and think “people from that country are nice.” It is important that people recognise us as spiritual people first and teachers, businesspeople, foreigners etc. second.
Shema is a lifestyle choice – living and talking in a way that makes it clear we are people of faith, and gives others a chance to respond so we can see whether they too are open to spiritual things. Before going out and living shema statements and actions we pray that God would lead us to the right people and then go and live our faith “out loud”.
How do people see you? Would they naturally recognise your relationship with the almighty? Could you pray about ways that God might show you to live out loud?
How to pray?
- Pray that workers in North Africa will be able to identify and develop ways of living their faith out loud so that people around them find out they are people of faith very easily.
- Pray for boldness and courage to keep fishing every day.
- Ask that People of Peace will respond to these “shema” or fishing statements, indicating they are interested to talk more about faith and spirituality.
- Pray that God will show you how to live your faith out loud.
Read more next week in our final post on this topic…