“Why did you come to the Philippines?”
I think the person wanted to know why, out of all the nations in the world, did he and Ms Deborah choose to plant a church here.
“Why did I go to the Philippines? I heard an audible voice. An audible voice called me and asked me if I would go to the Philippines. It was my friend and roommate, Rice Broocks.
We immediately said yes. Our next question was, ‘Where’s the Philippines?’
We didn’t pray about it. We didn’t fast about it. I just assumed that Matthew 28, the Great Commission, applied to me. So we went.”
It felt a little strange to hear the founding pastor of our movement talk about this life-changing, history-making decision and say, “We didn’t pray about it.”
This is not a statement against prayer. The Bible says to “pray without ceasing.”
So what was Pastor Steve talking about?
I think prayer can be negative when we use is as an excuse to delay obedience. This isn’t prayer at all, but religious slang to get the other person to back off. We’ve all seen this. You talk to someone about something they need to do, and they respond with, “I’ll pray about it.”
The issue here isn’t Prayerfulness but Obedience.
There are some things that are clearly stated in the Bible that we don’t need to wonder, consult, or pray about before we obey.
- I don’t need to pray about whether or not to forgive someone. I must forgive and forgive immediately because God forgave me of my sins.
- I don’t need to pray about apologizing to anyone I’ve offended. Jesus clearly told us to make peace with our brother before offering Him anything.
- I don’t need to pray about whether I should get discipled and make disciples.
- I don’t need to pray about whether or not to give my tithe – ten percent of my income. I give that and more because everything I own belongs to Him anyway.
While Pastor Steve said he didn’t pray about coming to the Philippines. He certainly prayed about how to do the work now that God had called him here.
That’s when we pray. We pray before speaking with people I’ve forgiven or offended and ask for God to use our words for healing. We pray for our disciples that they would grow to be like Jesus. And we pray and claim our provision from God because He has promised to bless us.