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22 July 2019

Living and praying on the frontline

Gregg Ramirez Gregg Ramirez Church member
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“Can I be honest with you? I’m actually not into prayer. I’m into Jesus, so we talk. I don’t believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. So I ask for his help. A lot. I’m not into evangelism. I hate evangelism! I’m into Jesus. So I talk to people about him.” 
Peter Greig - Founder of Prayer 24/7, Author of Red Moon Rising and Dirty Glory

Sometimes it takes just a few sentences to give you a new perspective, jolt you into a different way of thinking. That quote from Peter Greig did that for me...

One of the great joys of being a Christian is realising that God chooses to work through us, wherever we are. And yet, we find it all too easy to slip into default, formulaic modes of prayer... for the church, for the city, for the world.

So, how can we keep that great joy to the fore and avoid slipping into default prayer, particularly when we are in our everyday, living on the frontline?

LICC have developed a simple framework called the 6M’s to help us see how God is working with us and how we can uncover fruitfulness where we are, on the frontline.

If we look at these 6M’s through the lens that Peter Greig gives us in the quote; “I’m into Jesus, so we talk, I believe in the power of God. So I ask for His help ... and I’m into Jesus... So I talk to people about him...” Then I think our joy can be at the front and centre as we live and pray on our frontlines.

The 6Ms

1. Models Godly character

It is in our everyday that God forms our character to be like Jesus so that we can better reflect His character to those around us.

And as that happens, we become bearers of the fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This M is about these in action.

(So, what about your character do you need to talk with Jesus about? What do you need to ask God to help you with in putting fruit into action?)

2. Makes good work

Sometimes, our everyday tasks can seem a bit meaningless, or just means to an end. But ‘making good work’ means realising that everything we do is to and for the glory of God. After all, that’s what we’re instructed to do in Colossians.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

(Now, if you are anything like me, you are going to need to talk with Jesus about ‘working at serving him in the workplace, university or home...) with all my heart’ ... for his help in not being distracted and absorbed in stuff.)

3. Minister grace and love

What does this look like to you? It could be as simple as a timely cup of coffee, or taking ten minutes out to talk stuff over with someone who is struggling. Perhaps this could mean being the friend who gets someone to the hospital at 1am, even though you need to be up at 4am. It’s found in the boss who cares enough to find out why you are suddenly struggling to do your job, and gently offers support and comfort in the meeting, and even follows up afterwards.

(How can you be more like Jesus to the people you live alongside? Talking to him has got to be a great place to start...)

4. Moulds culture

Culture can be thought of as ‘the way we do things round here’. Moulding it means making small changes to dynamically express Christian values.

It’s the person who counters the blame culture of the corporate world by admitting when they’ve made a mistake and offering forgiveness to those who slip up as well. It’s quenching gossip with a positive word for the person who is always the butt of the jokes, or championing trust and honesty in our departments, nurturing a safe space for the rest of the team to work well in.

(It’s so easy to ‘go with the flow’ because it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. Spending time asking God to help you be that difference before you go into the workplace, every day is a great start point. Remember, God is always in the workplace before you get there. You are not alone.)

5. Mouthpiece for truth and justice

Whether we realise it or not, this is something that we get to do every single day. It can be as simple as refusing to engage in gossip at the school gate or speaking up for the colleague who has been overlooked.

Or it could be bigger – ruling our patch, the area of responsibility that God has given us, and ruling it well. Making sure other people get the credit they deserve when we could have taken it for ourselves. Big or small, being a mouthpiece for truth and justice looks like standing up – often at personal cost – to promote good, fair, and just practices.

(This is about you asking How would Jesus do this? Talking to him when these issues happen every day, before diving in with solutions yourself will help you stand up with integrity.)

6. Messenger of the gospel

Remember Peter Greig on Evangelism in the opening?

The way you live advertises your values, so the last thing you want the people you live alongside you to think is that you are the “Christian Cop”. Being a messenger for the gospel isn’t about delivering a pre-packaged gospel warhead and retreating to a safe distance. Instead, it could be drawing on biblical wisdom during a conflict or a business deal. It means having an intentionality, a desire to share something of Jesus with those around you and, when you can, to communicate the message of the gospel.

The 6Ms all work together

They’re all a part of our witness to those around us of God’s action in our lives. Hearing about a God of love becomes a lot more believable when you’ve seen the person who’s sharing him with you act in a loving way.

A God of justice makes sense when you’ve seen his follower stand up in the face of unfair practices.

If you are into Jesus, talk to him about talking to the people around you about him.

So, whether you’re at uni, working 24/7, in a graduate scheme, on a zero hours contract, or a stay-at-home parent, may you be encouraged, equipped, inspired, and released to live for God’s glory, wherever you are.

And remember, it’s good to talk... to Jesus.

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