For over 12 years a group of pastors, faith leaders and the directors of area nonprofits from around Lakewood, Colorado have met monthly to pray. The very fact that a group of pastors from different Jesus tribes (denominations) have been meeting to pray every month may sound trite or tremendous, it all depends on your perspective of faith and prayer, but this time of holy conversation has connected us, grounded us and transformed us. Anything good happening in Lakewood has been birthed here.
Central to the purpose of faith is the responsibility to create and sustain positive change in the world around us. That change begins inside an individual as they strive to build hope or learn how to live hope or both. Where does hope come from? Prayer is the single greatest tool related to faith hope for at its core hope isn’t a fact or a feeling it is an unshakable faith that tomorrow will be better and that we have a promise and a pathway to that better tomorrow.
The Lakewood Church Network devotion to prayer has made love tangible for thousands of people in the city of Lakewood. Love is, after all, the greatest command of Jesus (Matthew 22:34-40) and the proof of our true allegiance to Him (John 13:35-35). Love is relationship and as relationship it is organic. Prayer grows relationship love as we gather to communicate to God and each other. When spiritual leaders connect to each other in prayer a unique and profound kind of love happens – unity!
January 17, 2017 the Lakewood Church Network gathered at Colorado Christian University with their new president, Dr. Don Sweeting, Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul, CCU campus pastor David Jongeward, several CCU professors and student leaders and dozens of faith leaders from across the city. Over 50 of us huddled to seek God for the city together.
Unity is no small thing in faith and it is an even more important thing when you consider the world we live in today. Jesus ends his ministry the night before the cross praying for it (John 17). This final request of Jesus is the most important work of people of faith today because together we can accomplish what alone we cannot. The fact of “together” is the key ingredient in transforming the world in positive ways.
Too often we set out to change the world before we have humbled ourselves and sought personal change in prayer. Prayer is confession, openness and the acceptance of others wholeheartedly. That’s where prayer has led us in Lakewood and it is our prayer that through prayer we will seek and find the greater good for the city together.