This weekend is a crazy one in the Vogel household. Yesterday my husband led worship for and I attended the ReFresh conference here in Knoxville for Pastors and their wives.
It was a really great day.
Jim Cymbala from the Brooklyn Tabernacle was there with his team. It was definitely an encouraging day. I'm just starting into this life of ministry, but I can already tell we have some tough times ahead of us.
I love how his ministry is focused on prayer. The point was made yesterday that we pray but don't really pray. Just like you can sing without worshipping, you can pray without being connected to the Holy Spirit. A huge part of this problem stems from the church! We don't teach people how to pray and then expect them to have rockin prayer lives. Everything we do in a church service should be to build up and strengthen the church. I think a lot of churches are not this intentional with their practices unfortunately. We all fall into traditions and ruts, but God wants us to seek His face every time we meet together.
Northstar makes a huge effort to pray corporately, and I think that is a huge part of it. Scott is always saying, "we are a church that believes in the power or corporate prayer to change things..." and it's true. There's not a Sunday that goes by that we don't pray together. This is huge and I'd like to see this grow even more.
We need to be teaching our children not just that prayer is important, but how to pray. I help teach the preschoolers and I think we ned to be starting that young! At least the foundation! Prayer is such an important part of our life and I know I have spent too many years in boring prayers. It's time to change that!
Check out Jim Cymbala and some of his books. we got some at the conference and I can't wait to read them. If you are a pastor or know of one, check out his 6:4 Fellowship. Really neat stuff.
Now it's on to Asheville for the Esther Experience conference. I think it's going to be a great weekend. David is leading worship and I'll be attending the conference. Crazy weekend, but hopefully I'll be changed afterwards. I'm praying that God does some things in my heart this weekend and helps me feel closer to Him. Pray that everything goes well!