Be a Pioneer

When our oldest child Zack was about 5 or 6 years old we were living in Terre Haute, Indiana. One night we were going to sit down to watch a movie and I asked Zack which Western he wanted to watch. He said, “I don’t really like Westerns, I like space movies”. That shocked me for a second, until I realized that Space movies were to him like Westerns were to me. I loved the pioneering aspect of the Wild West in the early days of America. Yes, I realize it wasn’t all good, but I am thinking of the pioneering spirit, the sense of adventure, and the risk it took to keep moving west. Space movies convey the same idea—it’s just not “West”, it’s “Out” into Outer Space.

Someone once said that the Spirit of Faith is a pioneering spirit. There is certainly some truth in that. Everyone needs to have some of this pioneering spirit in their own life. As an adult, no one can push you forward like you will. No one has the authority in your life like you do. So, it is up to us to access God’s great grace in our lives. One way we do this is by and through prayer.

As we look through the Bible—such as with Isaac, Moses, Samuel, Job, and the Believers in the Early Church—we see that the act of praying is a method of changing a situation for the better. It’s a means of interacting with God, often spontaneously and personally; making requests and giving thanks. We all have situations where prayer is necessary in order for things to change. What happens if we do not pray? Maybe nothing… Or not praying may allow something that is not God’s will to have room to flourish.

I like a rather broad definition of prayer: interaction with God by agreeing to His will and speaking it out. Consider Jesus in Matthew 16:18; as soon as He was revealed as the Christ, He declared, “I will build My Church”. He agreed to His Father’s will and spoke it out. In doing so, Jesus extended His reach into the future 2000 years. Prayer will extend your reach; it prepares a way into the future.

Matthew 3:3 says, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness…Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct)” (AMPC). What in our lives needs the future spoken to it and a way prepared? Easy, everything! What about thanking God for His blessed plan for our lives? Is this interacting with God by agreeing to His will and speaking it out? Absolutely.

There are times when we should spend more extended times in prayer, but the other side is having prayer on the tip of our tongues all the time—little things here and there. 1.Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. When you think of someone, say a prayer for them and thank God for them. If it seems like you should pray more, keep praying.

Awhile back, 3 mornings in a row I woke up thinking about the same family. (It probably shouldn’t have taken 3 mornings to do something about it, but it did…) I sent them a text message, just asking where they were and how they were. Because God put them on my heart and I acted on it, we have been able to talk regularly about some things going on in their lives. It has given me room to pray for them with some knowledge.  

We have a responsibility and privilege to pray. If we know we can speak life into our future, it will keep us moving forward and pioneering in ways we cannot fully comprehend yet. If we keep prayer on the tip of our tongues, the promptings to pray for others will come often. We can touch the world and change the world with our voice and with our prayers. 

John Grunewald

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