Although it has only been about a month since I have returned from my time at the European Young People Conference, I feel as though I will look back on that summer as a turning point in my attitude toward my Christian life. The two things that impressed me the most were the importance of prayer, and the special fellowship about the believer’s influence on the world.
For me now prayer finally, finally begins to make sense. It became real to me. As a young person growing up in the church life, it’s often easy to make such a special function with the Lord a ritual or an obligation. During the many times I was “forced” to pray in the young people meetings, I’d spit out the phrases and words I was used to hearing my serving ones pray. While the words I prayed were by no means bad prayers, there was no feeling of burden behind it from me. Occasionally, I’d pick up a burden to pray for my friends at school—yet without such a feeling from the Father within, my burden was limited. Matthew 9:36 says
And seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and cast away like sheep not having a shepherd.
I began to see how limited my human effort was to even love mankind. As humans, we naturally seek companionship with others. Yet, our capacity to be sociable, to want to help others for the “common good,” runs on a dry well. Still, there is One within us that lays His life down for the brothers, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. There is only one High Priest, and He dwells in us. Praise the Lord!
Thus, prayer simply means that we in ourselves are not able, but the Lord is able. Once this clicked, I was floored by the multitude of matters I could pray for. Now I understood how the saints could spend just two hours praying together every week! The church itself is laid on the foundation of prayer. Without such transactions with Him, God’s economy has no way to move on this earth.
In our day-to-day travels going from Milton to Romford to Glasgow to Edinburgh and finally Male Ciche, relying on the Lord as our guide was a crucial lesson. The sisters and I faced countless troubles conquering the public transportation system, compromising everyone’s different agendas and the stress of living in unfamiliar territory. Sometimes all I could say was, “Lord, I just need you right now.” By His mercy, the Lord covered us throughout the trip, and placing us in houses with home meetings with saints during the times we most needed supply from others.
We were blessed to join a prayer meeting with some newly migrated saints in Glasgow for the Lord’s testimony there. I could really sense the Lord’s yearning in the saints to bear fruit and gain a testimony in Scotland. Though we might have been inside a small room on a dreary rainy day, I felt as though we were on a glorious mountain top. The Lord was shining on our faces because we were praying for His heart’s desire.
I was also impressed with the special fellowship “The Believer’s Influence on the World,” in the Poland conference this year. Matthew tells us that as believers, we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and the seeds of the gospel. Matt. 5:13 asks us,
… But if the salt has become tasteless, with what shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything except to be cast out and trampled underfoot by men.
This is serious word. Have we lost our function as the salt of the earth? Such a question convicted me to reflect on my living and testimony to my friends in high school. I recall times when I was ashamed of the gospel, feeling uncomfortable even mentioning the word “God” or “Lord Jesus” in front of my classmates.
Without a secret, hidden life with the Lord, we lose our function as the salt of the earth. This is nothing we do. It is not our ability to even be a good person. Once we are filled with the enjoyment of Christ, and overflowing with Him, others will spontaneously sense the divine life within us and see the light of God.
John 15:5 tells us to abide in the Lord Jesus: “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
I’ve come away with my time in Europe with a fresh appreciation of how precious the church life is. Despite our cultural differences and language barriers, we all share the same divine life within us. We can pray together, pursue together, and abide in the Lord together as His corporate expression. Lord, by your mercy, keep us enjoying You individually and corporately! [guest post: sister Diana, sharing her enjoyment from the 2010 Europe trip & the Poland camp] [Read this article in Spanish – cómo cambió mi actitud hacia mi vida cristiana, la Conferencia europea para jóvenes 2010 en Male Ciche]