On my previous blog I wrote about time machines and going back into the past. This week I traveled the opposite direction and journeyed into the strange and mysterious frontier of the future.
My vehicle was a long and involved IRS form for tax exempt status that I needed to fill out for our new nonprofit, Prayer Igniters. Our ministry had its very first board meeting in September. As of yet we have no bank account and no programs running. It should be a cinch to fill out a form for a group that doesn’t have any past and very little in the present to report, right? Wrong. According to the form, we have a future to report!
The form poses oodles of questions like this “Do you or will you undertake fundraising?” If ‘Yes,’ check all the fundraising programs you do or will conduct.” Then they say, “Attach a description of each fundraising activity.” Hmm. And thus the form had me constantly embarking on mental journeys into what we will be doing in 2010 and 2011.
Actually, the IRS didn’t invent traveling into the future. Prayer did. The reason I happened to be filling out a nonprofit application in October of 2009 was because on February 29, 2000 I asked God to give me a mission statement. He gave me these words “The Way of Prayer for Many.” I wasn’t sure what way of prayer I knew that would help anyone else. But I began to pray the vision every day on my prayer walk. I can’t say that much happened for several years, but I kept on praying.
I eventually started speaking on prayer and keeping a log of prayer answers in my journal. Then my elderly father got sick in 2004 and died a year later. It seemed like a huge detour way off my prayer vision route. Only later did I see that Dad’s illness gave me priceless personal experience on how to pray during a crisis and how to pray when things don’t get better.
In 2006 I took a huge step and did a video study series on prayer. All of this time, the nonprofit idea was still completely off my radar screen. It didn’t go “blip” until one spring day in 2008 when I was having lunch with a woman from a huge church. She told me she wished that she could get more people interested in prayer. Bingo! I was meeting my first Prayer Igniter – someone who wanted to light a match to spark interest in prayer but who needed a little help, inspiration and support along the way.
So prayer makes it possible for me to report to the IRS what the future will look like in 2010 and 2011.
This brings us to an interesting question. What will you be doing in the future? In 2010? In 2011? I think I can help you fill in the blanks if you can answer this question. What are you praying as God’s future vision for your life today?