“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:3 NIV
Awhile back the AHOP leadership team spent a day at CityGate Church in Atlanta. As a church with night and day prayer as the center point of their activities, we gleamed a lot! They poured into us from 9 to 5! As we began to wrap up the day, we joined one of their corporate worship/prayer sessions. Toward the end of it they called us up and prayed over us, together and individually. As one of the pastors prayed over me he repeatedly said “go the pace of grace!” That phrase has stuck with me as we have begun pressing into formalizing things at Athens House of Prayer. If is vital that we stay in step with the Holy Step (Galatians 5:25). We cannot accomplish this task in our own strength. Jesus said we can nothing apart from Him (John 15:5). I am no Greek scholar, but as I understand it, nothing means nothing, but it is even stronger than that! My limited research revealed to me that it means no, nay, absolutely nothing! We can do absolutely nothing apart from Jesus! Jesus Himself conveyed this reality by saying He could only do what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19). This is not new, even the psalmist wrote that unless the Lord builds the house we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). When we begin helping God with our fleshly strength, we move away from staying in step with the Spirit. The crazy thing is, what we birth and build in the flesh has to be maintained in the flesh, and this leads us down a slippery slope. We get busy, and from the outside things can look good. But busyness is not godliness. When we take things into our own hands we birth Ishmaels rather than Isaacs.
Please pray for us, the AHOP leadership team, as we press forward, while abiding in Christ and staying in step with the Holy Spirit. We cannot build a citywide house of prayer, unless the Lord builds it, so invite Him to build it in Athens! Ask Him to grant us wisdom as we begin to have meetings and shape the prayer culture in the room. Ask Him to draw in more churches, worship leaders, intercessors, and prayer leaders who will ultimately begin taking weekly slots. Pray for a fresh wind, a new wineskin, and blueprints from the Father. Ask the Lord to grant us the ability to stay in the pace of grace, and walk as the Spirit leads! Ask Him to guard us from stepping into the flesh. Ask the Lord what part you and your church are to play in this Athens House of Prayer. And lastly, invite Him to show you any place where you are walking out of step with the Holy Spirit.