When one person starts praying…

When Jay and Tanya Strother joined the staff of Brentwood Baptist Church, they bought a house in Thompson’s Station. It wasn’t where they wanted to live, but as a newly married couple with small children, it was what they could afford.

And of course, God had a plan.

Here’s how God’s plan unfolded. Tanya started a women’s Bible study in her neighborhood. As she got to know the women, their families, and their stories, she learned most of them didn’t go to church. She became convinced Brentwood Baptist needed to start a church in south Williamson County.

These families would never drive to Brentwood to go to church. It was just too far to go with young children. So, Tanya started praying about a church for her neighbors.

Then, Jay’s heart was broken for his friends and he began to talk to us about a church for his neighbors—in South Williamson County.

You know the rest of the story.

Three years ago, we launched Station Hill on Easter Sunday. This year, 969 people attended their services. (I told Jay to go recount. There had to be 1,000 people out there somewhere!) Now, we’re looking to buy property and build a facility to support the growth and ministry expansion of Station Hill.

All of this happened because Tanya started praying.

That’s the way all of our ministries at Brentwood Baptist happen—the Deaf Church, the Chinese Congregation, Kairos, the Hispanic Ministry. Anything you name was started by somebody who began to pray for a group of unreached people.

Jesus told His disciples that some things can only be addressed with much prayer—not strategies, not plans, not goals. Prayer.

For some reason, it all starts when God’s people start praying—even if it’s only one person.

The Monday of Holy Week

Traditionally, the Monday of Holy Week is when we focus on Jesus cleaning out the Temple. That must have been something to see.

Jesus, unable to contain His frustration and anger, made a whip from rope and drove the animals from the Temple courtyard. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and ran them out too.

He did this while He was reciting the words of the prophet, “My father’s house is to be called a house of prayer and you’ve made it a den of thieves.”

A Faithful Optimism

OK, call me optimistic. I know a lot of people are discouraged and thinking that all is lost, but I’m not one of them. Yes, I read the papers and no, I don’t have my head stuck in the sand.  I know about the debt crisis, the marriage crisis, the education crisis, the healthcare crisis, the crisis of violence and all of the rest of the crises the media has cooked up to make us buy more papers and watch more talking heads argue on TV.

Yes, I know all about the mess we’re in. But here’s what else I know. God is up to something. He’s always working and He’s working now.

Things weren’t great for Christians in the Roman Empire, but God was working. We suffered under communism and fascism, but God is working.  

Prayer for Election Day

The Word of God says pray for our leaders.

So I pray for our president and our president-elect (whoever he may be) and our other elected leaders.

 

The Word of God says pray for our nation.

So, I pray mercy and justice will be the reality of our land.

 

The Word of God says, as much as possible, live in peace with those around you.

So, I will pray for blessings for my neighbors — both for those like me and for those unlike me.