Prayer, Family Style

By Sloan Milliken


Three summers ago, I was praying one afternoon with two friends. We hadn’t come together with any agenda except to seek the Lord together. At one point in the meeting, my friend Caleb cried out, “God, show us more of what obedience looks like!” Immediately, a picture popped into my mind.

In this vision, three sons were hanging out in the living room of their home with their dad. They clearly enjoyed being together, and their fellowship was full of affectionate, affirming, bantering, back-and-forth conversation. At different points in time, the father would ask one or two of the sons to go take care of something outside of the house. They would go with gladness, but they would come back full of even more joy, excited to be together and love one on one another again.

I love that image on many levels. First and foremost, it reminds me that this thing we call Christianity isn’t just about me and my personal relationship with Jesus, for we have the opportunity as the family of God to richly fellowship with our Father together and live at home with him in love. Second, it reminds me that the best portion is to simply draw near to him and to do it together with other brothers and sisters. Third, it makes me hungry. For the last several months, hardly a prayer meeting with my friends has gone by without me recounting this vision. I eagerly desire to experience a corporate life with God similar to the picture I saw in prayer over three years ago. I want that rich fellowship. I want that true freedom. And I want to see the amazing ideas the Father has up his sleeve to love his people and reach the world for Christ.

As you read this issue, I hope it gives you a fresh desire and vision for your own prayer life and especially for corporate prayer. The Father wants to spend one-on-one time with each of his children, but he also desires to hang out together with his family! What would happen if God’s people everywhere began to rally together in meetings large and small to wait on him in love? What would it mean for our personal lives and our churches? And what would it mean for Nepal? For Pakistan? For the 2-3 billion people worldwide who have never heard the name of Jesus?

Let’s dream together with God and dive into communing with him together. Many years ago, he declared his name would be great among the nations and that incense would rise from every place (Malachi 1:11). May this happen in our day--and in our own lives!

Sloan Milliken



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