“Let’s face it – prayer is a neglected discipline of the church. We need brothers like Steve Smith who are committed to stirring up and promoting consistent and communal prayer in the life of the body of Christ. Steve is a pace-setter in prayer for pastors and ministry leaders.
Too often, we try to minister without abiding in the vine of the Spirit of Christ, then we wonder why we’re not more effective. Steve reminds pastors how much we prefer to hear our own voices rather than to listen for the voice of our Father. We’d rather talk about ministry than to make supplication together for the church. We want to make our own plans rather than to petition God for his own plan. We are quick to speak and express opinions, but slow to pray and seek direction. We offer counsel, but not intercession. We rationally examine theological implications, but our study of God does not consistently give way to adoration. We give lip-service to God but neglect to open our mouths in thanksgiving. We regret our sins, but do not confess them. We try to avoid temptation, but we don’t ask for protection.
Ministry without companionship with God and brothers in prayer is exhausting and isolating. Steve brings pastors and ministry leaders together, across denominational boundaries, to prayer for one another and to pray for our city. He also prays for us personally and helps translate prayer into kingdom application in outward ministry.
Whenever I meet with Steve, you can count that it won’t be long before we move directly into prayer, whether in one-on-one or group connections. I am spiritually renewed and empowered as we align together in the Spirit of Christ and I am challenged to new obedience and greater trust of God in ministry.
I am especially grateful for Steve’s willingness to follow the Spirit in stepping into the ministry of racial reconciliation as the Lord has brought a diverse group of pastors together. The work of reconciliation can be dicey, often there are superficial efforts with little genuine spiritual gain. Once again, the temptation is to talk a lot, but pray little. But, by the grace of God, with Steve’s facilitation we quickly move beyond superficialities into genuine spiritual fellowship and sharing of brotherhood in the Lord – because we prayer together throughout our reconciliation meetings. There is still much work yet to be done. Your support for Steve and the Athens Prayer Network is not in vain. We are gaining ground here for the kingdom and Steve is a catalyst for repentance and renewal in the church at large.
I praise the Lord of the Harvest for bringing Steve to minister among us and labor together with the saints in Athens!
For His Glory!”
Church Planter Pastor – Lord of Glory Fellowship