Is This a Place Where Prayer is Answered?

Many visiting pastors from Korea often comment as they watch the lives of our church members, ‘Here something is different from Korea.  People seem to live with God as their priority.’  Whenever I heard it, I agreed, ‘Sure.  Our church members live with God and church as their top priority.’  However, I did not know the real meaning of this word.  I had a chance to understand it as I visit churches who struggle with house church system.

Generally speaking, many church members say that they believe in God but they do not really rely on God in their lives.  Therefore, when difficulty strikes, they pray to God as Christians but they do not expect that God will intervene to solve the problem.  In their mind, God is God and it is up to them to solve the problem.  Therefore, to deal with it, they meet with a lawyer, go to a bank, and look for someone who can help them.  Since the owner of the problem is himself, there is no reason to share it with other believers.  He asks others to pray for him out of curtesy but there is no expectation for the prayer will be answered.

In such a culture, house church does not have much meaning.  House church is an uncomfortable place where I have to share my secret and once the secret is out, the situation can become worse because of circulation of my secret and whatever is added to it which can cause embarrassment.  Therefore, we tend to share only holy stories such as inspirations from God during QT or stories from mission trips.  In such a setting non-believers have nothing to talk about.  It is impossible to evangelize in this situation.  Again, there is no reason or chance to look for VIPs.

Compared to this, the faith of our church members is quite different.  First of all, our house churches meet as if they meet to get answers to their prayers.  There is an expectation of God’s intervention.  When they face a problem, of course they try to solve it, but taking it before God and expecting His guidance are real and take priority.  A person with a problem has expectations of God’s intervention.  Also there is a prayer of his shepherd.  His shepherd understands that the answer to his prayer is a way for him to experience God and he prays for his house church members earnestly.  Through these answered prayers, reliance on prayers become more tangible and people with such experiences come to know God as someone real.  This is the way how our church members place priority in God and experience Him through answered prayer.

When this priority is firmly established, there is no reason for the sharing in the house church to be a scandal which travels outside and cause problems.  Whoever experienced God through answered prayer wants to share such God.  When they meet someone who has problems, they cannot help themselves from talking about what God has done to them.  This zeal is expressed as a passion to evangelize.

Now, please look around in your house church.  Does the shepherd have confidence in God’s intervention?  This confidence should not be limited to the shepherd but becomes a culture of the house church and whenever there is a problem, they should ask their shepherd to pray for them.  In such a setting, there will be a desire to evangelize, God’s love is practiced and passion for Him will flourish.

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