The first appearance was via Day 29 of T.C. Spellen’s devotional, The Waiting Room. She mentions ensuring that as Christians, we deliberately attend church and gatherings made up of other fellow believers. She reminds the reader that it is in community that we are held accountable in our faith walk, built up by other believers, challenged, etc.
The second appearance of the concept of fellowship, believe it or not, came because of this week’s focus in The Book Marketing Challenge. This is the last week for the BMC, and the focus for the week is on virtual book tours. It just so happens that I’ve begun plans for a pre-launch book tour for my next book, “A Year in Prayer With Jesus”. I currently have four bloggers on board for this tour. I need at least another three, preferably a total of 30, but even just 7 would work.
My next book, “A Year in Prayer With Jesus” breaks The Lord’s Prayer down into 7 points, each with their own unique Scripture verse for 365 days, and each with their own unique prayer prompt for 365 days as well. The thought occurred to me this morning as I was reading today’s challenge, that through this next book, I am encouraging the reader to engage in meaningful communication and therefore, fellowship, with God Himself.
T.C. Spellen points this out in her session on Day 29, saying that when we engage in prayer and Scripture reading, we are engaging in fellowship with God. There is a saying that used to go around, “Me and God are a majority”. There are already books and teachings out there that encourage praying the Scriptures, so I haven’t re-written “the book” on that method of prayer. But a person is able to pray the Scriptures if they choose as they go through my prayer guide in a year. Some of the prayer points in my guide list missions organizations, countries in the 10-40 window, people groups, language groups, etc. I have this daydream going around my head that goes something like this:
What if 365 people bought my book, and each started on a different day in the calendar? Person one on Jan 1st, person two on Jan 2nd, person 3 on Jan 3rd, and so on till the 365th person starts on the 365th day of the year. You know what that would do??? That would mean that every single people group, language group, 10-40 country, and listed missions group, would get prayed for every single day! This doesn’t count the fact that room is made under each prayer point where the reader can add in their own prayer point to pray over as well. No doubt the prayer point suggestions I’ve come up with are not exhaustive. I’m sure there are groups out there I have missed, in fact I KNOW there are groups I’ve missed because some of the lists were far too long to consider for what now seems like a short 365 day list count. But the daydream to see people in conversation with God about just this one point in the prayer guide gets me a little excited!
This is why I want to generate some pre-launch buzz for this book! One reviewer has already said that she was not aware you could use The Lord’s Prayer in so many different ways! She’s excited about it and hasn’t even read through the whole thing yet.
Sunday morning also brought out this concept of fellowship with each other and fellowship with God. A couple who were interviewed during the service spoke of spending an hour in prayer with God, with your Bible open, having that two-way conversation. The children’s pastor spoke on the importance of parents setting spiritual disciplines in their home to aid in building strong spiritual foundations for their kids to build on later in life. It was a family service followed by a church family barbeque after the service. I choked on my food again, and this time, someone other than my children noticed and offered assistance. We are a church family, and God has answered my prayer many times that through that church family, my kids would find adult men and women who could speak into their lives when I wasn’t able to. Amazingly enough, my kids consider that a blight on my own parenting, but the fact it actually did take place is an answer to prayer from my perspective. The African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child, is incredibly, deeply, and profoundly true in the Church family setting! As a single mother wanting to be responsible and work rather than live on welfare, my ability to speak into my kids’ lives was greatly hampered and I relied on the Family of God to be there when I couldn’t. I can say with conviction and appreciation, that my local church family pulled through on that level multiple times! My kids have graduated high school as of June 2013, and are now preparing to make their own way in the world slowly but surely.
Which reminds me of the grad gift I wrote for them last year. In there is a section about interpersonal relationships and there again, the admonishment to be in community with God’s people is brought up both in the parental tidbits of advice, and in the Scriptures offered on facing pages. Yes, fellowship seems to be the word for the day. God has a message out there for someone who is not in community with other believers. He is calling them back into fellowship with Himself and with their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It is my prayer that they will answer, and return to the local expression of believers that God has called them to.