Posts Tagged ‘dai’

Shivering on My Bridge of Unforgiveness

Friday, May 15th, 2015

2015.05 Papua (2)

Friday I rode to Eragayam in a trickle-down-the-spine drizzle.  At the 3 way I met Mr. Yikwa who has been faithfully blocking the road for a week.  In my drippy state I wasn’t in any mood to deal with another group of guys armed with axes and machetes making our logistically challenging life way more challenging. I must admit that It also inspired a certain fear element I don’t enjoy.

We generally dehumanize people into scenery, machinery, stepping stones, or roadblocks and on Friday, I was moved to find out a bit more about this roadblock.  He is a chainsaw operator and gave 200 boards to the village head for a government project 6 years ago.  He hasn’t been paid and so now is doing the cultural thing of making a problem to solve a problem.  I asked, “What about all the ladies who can’t get to market to sell their produce?  The sick people who need to get to the hospital?  The kids who need to get to school?”  He answered, “It is the leader who has made the problem so all the people under him have to feel it.”

So I tried tactic B:

“Where does the leader guy live?”
“Well his village is past Yabendili but he lives in Wamena.”
“Does he ever come here?”
“No, he is always in Wamena.”
“So, this road block really doesn’t affect him since he doesn’t come this way but it hurts all the people who had nothing to do with the decision.”
“He is the leader so all the people need to feel it and then he will do something.”

Attempt C:

“What do you think everybody thinks about you blocking the road?”
“They might be mad at me but the leader made the problem so it is his fault.”

Attempt D:

“What about going to the police or through the village justice system?”
“If this roadblock doesn’t work then I will go to the police.”

I realize that in a land of corruption a barefoot chainsaw operator doesn’t stand a chance working within the system against a government official.  His best bet is to die of pneumonia, ax in hand, guarding his bridge and making everyone’s life miserable.

I started to feel really bad for Mr. Yikwa, soaked to the skin gripping his ax with his jaw set in his gaunt face.  His yellow eyes and stooped shoulders show the heavy burden he is carrying.  Unforgiveness, hate, revenge and anger are 50lbs each.  In the blazing sun or pouring rain he is drinking the poison of unforgiveness while the guy who cheated him is not the least bit bothered.  In fact, quite the opposite.  He is probably enjoying all the attention and laughing thinking about Mr. Yikwa shivering by his bridge while he settles into his sofa, watching a soccer game with a steaming mug of coffee.

Mr. Yikwa is killing himself over an injustice done to him.  Is it worth it?

I’ve never blocked a road for a week with an ax but as I rode home I started to think of all the times I have set my jaw and decided to drink the poison of unforgiveness over an offense or injustice.  How many times have I been just like Mr. Yikwa?  100’s? I can’t even count them.

So a couple hours later for elementary chapel I shared about my twin brother Mr. Yikwa and then we broke into our mentoring groups with the assignment to share one thing we aren’t willing to forgive.  I shared with the 6th grade boys how I have bitterly held out standing by my bridge in the pouring rain not willing to ask for a flight from an aviation organization for about 7 years.  Finally this last week we did but I wasn’t willing to meet the planes when they came in.   My jaw stubbornly set making our logistically challenged life all the more difficult; but a small step forward.  Next plan I might even be there to meet it.

Almost all the boys had tears running down their faces as they shared something or someone that they are struggling to forgive.

I think God uses us best if we are willing to be open and honest about our failures and sins and commit to take one little step at a time to be more like Christ.  As I looked in the mirror and saw the gaunt faced, stooped, shivering, angry man at the bridge I realized again just how amazing God is to allow me to play on His team.

Thanks for helping keep us here in Papua, Indonesia.

The Wisley Family

 

Signs of Hope

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

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We are so proud of our MAOL graduates who are quickly and selflessly serving those impacted by the Nepal earthquake. They are listening to the needs of the people and coming up with creative solutions to meet those needs.

Yajak Tamang, a graduate of DAI’s MAOL program living in Siliguri, India, just returned from Nepal visiting and assessing needs in villages — like many Indian Nepalis drawn to help the people of his ancestral homeland.

After landing in the Kathmandu airport, Yajak drove four hours to Sindhupalchok District. Dotting the lush green rice patties along the drive are piles of wood and brick. Remnants of villages.

On this research trip, Yajak brought what he could in terms of relief supplies and volunteered where he could. He shares, “During my trip I bought big water tanks for two different areas where there believers are staying together (about 13 families each). I gave cash gifts to five families and helped two school children for their studies. And I joined a relief group and helped in distribution of food items.”

The main thing Yajak did was listen to their needs and pain. Yajak shares, “It’s not only houses that are broken. It’s their hearts and hope as well…I heard a child saying to his father, ‘Dad, are we dying?’” As hard as it is, Nepali believers are bringing hope and healing to such dark emotional places.

Dr. Cindy Perry, DAI Regional Director for South Asia, says signs and evidences of the Kingdom bring her joy in the midst of responding to all this sorrow. Signs like “A young person cradling and singing to a child traumatized by the swaying earth, an aid worker weeping with a villager at his loss while helping reconstruct a rough shelter, a flower poking through the rubble, a mother sharing the last of their rice with a neighbour, young people playing games with the small children to renew laughter and relieve the tension.”

Will you join us in praising God that his Kingdom is on earth as it is in Heaven? And will you join us on supporting relief efforts in Nepal through a donation to DAI? www.daintl.org/help-nepal.

Yajak will be returning to Sindhupalchok District to help in the relief and rebuilding. Gifts to DAI will bring financial and material assistance to families in that district.

Update from DAI Nepal Ministry Center Director

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Greetings from Nepal,

Kathmandu hospital crumbling after second earthquake

Kathmandu hospital crumbling after second earthquake

We want to thank you so much for every effort you have made to share the news of the devastating earthquake on 25th April in Nepal that opened the hearts of people to pray for us and donate the funds to provide some relief to the victims.  Just over two weeks after more than 8,000 people died in the earthquake, Nepal got hit hard again on 12th May by another powerful tremor that has left more than 100 dead and more than 2,000 injured, as reported till now. Even though the death toll is not so high compared to the first one, hundreds of buildings have collapsed as they were frequently shaken by the aftershocks. People are again terrified, much like what happened in the days after April 25. This has happened when people were thinking life was returning back to normalcy, but now they are more frightened.

The picture here is Omkar Policlinic Hospital that was just falling down when I was driving my motorbike home from the office on Tuesday after the tremor. It was terrible to experience another big shock, as we all thought that the earthquake was over. The normalcy of peoples’ daily life in Kathmandu has been affected badly again, moving almost all people to outside in open spaces in the tents. People are leaving Kathmandu in a mass like they did soon after April 25th. The reason for leaving KTM is either people want to go back home and check with their family and/or because of the fear that a stronger earthquake will hit Kathmandu. There were very few vehicles running on the street of Kathmandu both yesterday and today.

There are many (maybe more than 30) aftershocks in the last two days. It is scary as we hear rumors referring different news sources that predict of another big one coming soon. There are predictions of aftershocks by well-known sources like CNN that has reported “The fact such a big quake hit so soon after the one last month indicates that more tremors could come at any time.”

The fear and road blocks due to landslides have halted the relief work going on in other surrounding districts of Kathmandu. Another new district, Dolakha, has been very badly affected where more than 90 percent of the houses have collapsed due to this recent tremor. Please pray without ceasing that the people in remote places may get the relief and support as soon as possible.

We have postponed the regular programs for now that we had planned earlier, rather we are concentrating to provide relief services through whatever ways we can, mostly through the organizations and initiatives of DAI related persons (both formal and non-formal program graduates). We appreciate DAI US office, and all other DAI offices and friends for making all the efforts to raise funds to support the nation of Nepal for such a huge crisis. It’s been a privilege to administer those funds on the ground, in conjunction with our DAI South Asia Director, Dr Cindy Perry.  

Thank you so much for your continued concern, care and prayers for us. May the almighty Lord take control over the situation here in Nepal. Please pray specially for the people in remote places many of those who have survived, have lost their family members, houses, livestock and everything, the hopes and meaning of their survival.

With much appreciation,

Narayan Khadka

Director, Nepal Ministry Center

Kathmandu, Nepal

Your support is making a difference in Nepal

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Making a Difference

As you have likely heard, Nepal suffered another strong earthquake early this morning. Reports indicate that many were killed and thousands were injured. The people of Nepal are in great need – both physically and spiritually.

Thanks to generous donations, our Nepal team has been helping to provide much needed relief to some of Nepal’s most remote villages. Donations to DAI have already been used to help the people of Nepal by purchasing and distributing:

  • 400 tents
  • 405 tarps
  • 100 blankets
  • 180 mosquito nets
  • Sanitation items
  • 35 hygiene kits and medical training
  • Rice, oil, salt and lentils to hundreds
  • Clothes for women and children
  • Mats for sitting and sleeping on
  • Transportation to remote villages

For our work to have maximum effectiveness, we continue to collaborate and coordinate with others. Please pray for good cooperative relationships and that Christians across the country would be united in reaching out with practical help and love at this time.

There is a great sense of urgency in our relief work, but we also are aware that the sprint is turning into a marathon, with communities across Nepal needing ongoing support through the months (and years) of rebuilding to come.

To stay up-to-date on DAI-Nepal’s activities please visit www.daintl.org/nepal-updates or follow us on Facebook.

If you haven’t had a chance to donate, the need is still great. Please consider a $10 donation today to help purchase additional blankets and mosquito nets.

 

DAI Student and Daughter Praising God They’re Alive

Friday, May 1st, 2015
Nepal Update 0501

Photos taken by DAI student in Dhading

 

The day of the earthquake, a DAI student was away from home doing theological training in his childhood village of in the rural region of Dhading.

“The earthquake took place when the sermon began. Our church building collapsed. It was by God’s amazing grace that none of the believers were killed though a few of them were slightly injured.”

He shares, “My town though was devastated. At least 7 people are found dead so far.” One side of his father-in-law’s house collapsed burying his parked motorcycle.

His eldest daughter, was also away from home the day of the earthquake. She was in the Kathmandu valley promoting her college. She and two college friends had stopped at the home of her friend’s parents. They live on the second story of a three story apartment building, but they were not home. While the girls were waiting for the parents to return, the earthquake started and collapsed the three story building on top of the girls.

They were trapped.

At first the eldest daughter and her friends were talking to one another, but after an hour to two friends stopped talking. When she realized that her friends had died, she cried out loud to God “Lord, save me from this situation. You are my Rock and my Shield.” Some people heard her prayer and were able to unbury her. She was rushed to the hospital for minor injuries and quickly discharged. While there, someone recognized her and phoned her parents to notify them she was alive. She shares, “I am extremely thankful to my God who saved my life even though I thought that I lost my physical life. He heard my prayer and my faith in God has increased.” She has since been reunited with her family.

This DAI student and his family praise God that they are alive and at the same time are grieving the loss of their daughter’s two friends and other community members.

Within their denomination this DAI student reports that, “More than 23 believers are dead and more than 40 believers are injured. Several Pastors, leaders and believers have lost their houses.” He and his family are living in a temporary shelter.

Please praise God with them that they are alive, but also grieve with the parents of the two girls who died. Devastation is not fair.

Help DAI students rebuild their lives with a gift to the DAI Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund: www.daintl.org/help-nepal

 

Nepal Report from MAOL Students

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

“The Lord is my Shepherd”. Psalms 23:1, Psalms 121:1-8
It’s my pleasure to inform you that we all are safe even though the days were so horrible and scary. I thought we wouldn’t have this opportunity to email, chat, pray and do the ministry together any more again. I thought we couldn’t survive, our children couldn’t survive but by God’s grace mercy we able to survive. Every second was so dangerous and scary. We felt that we were not standing or sitting on the ground but were floating on slough mud, it would break out any time and we are being ready to sink into it. The trees and houses were swinging right and left we were just seeing which trees and houses would fall down first around us.

MAOL Student

MAOL Student

The children were around me and my wife, holding hands together, crying and weeping with every after shocks. My wife and I also cried and wept together, comforted them together, prayed together and floated and swam together with the earthquake’s waves.

And praise God we survived together even though it was really horrible at moments. Every second was uncertain and didn’t know what would happened the next second but now I felt and knew God had special plans for that every second for me and the children. It was fun.

Open and muddy ground was our beds and old and tore plastic was over us to protect us from the rain but it wasn’t able to protect us completely so we all wet by rain. But still we were surviving by God’s grace and mercy. Even though we lie down on the ground; couldn’t sleep because every aftershock of the Earthquake would bring scary and uncertainty for our lives. But as the dawn comes up, every morning could give a hope to live and survive but every second was really fearful and uncertain. Every second was uncertain but it was very meaningful and valuable for our lives in the world. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is your Faithfulness.” Lamentation 3:22, 23.

I thank you so much for your prayers. I know the life that I do have now is the response of your prayer. I express my heartfelt thank you to you and your family. We and all the children are fine and ok by God’s grace and mercy. Thank you so much for your prayers.

MAOL Student

I totally lost my house in the village where my parent has been living. My parent and others are living under the trees these days. Some of our relatives lost their lives under the broke down houses and now people are trying to dig them out. They really need help. There is no food to eat or place to stay. It’s really been hard time for them.

The Churches and the Schools are broke down. Neither there is place for worship nor sending children in the school. So kindly pray for them also kindly pray for our children’s relatives. I am trying to make contact but haven’t been able.

The rest is ok. I will update you more later. Once again, thank you so much for your prayers and concerns for us.  I offer my heartfelt thanks to you for your prayers and concerns. Love and greetings from Nepal.

Prayer Request: Kindly pray for our children Home needs, my house and parent, also children’s villages.

Help DAI students rebuild their lives through a gift to DAI’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund: www.daintl.org/help-nepal

Help Nepal: Pray & Give

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Nepal Relief Website header

 

Dear Friends,

As the death toll rises to more than 4,300 and another 8,000 injured, the Nepali people are facing shortages of water, food and electricity and growing concerns about the spread of disease. We are asking for your support in bringing relief to Nepal.  

Cindy Perry, DAI South Asia Regional Director, reports the epicenter of the quake was in a highly Christian area and many buildings were flattened. Because it is a remote area it will be awhile before there is news. “I’m in contact with several groups on the ground and  hoping to assist Nepali churches who are engaged in relief and recovery work.  Reports are starting to come out telling of whole villages leveled and schools collapsed.”

DAI Nepal staff, and the leaders they serve, desire to come alongside their Nepalese brothers and sisters during this desperate time.

We ask you to consider a donation to support these efforts. Give online at daintl.org/help-nepal.

Because of the extent of the devastation, recovery efforts will take time. We ask you to join us in prayer. Please see our prayer resource (Pray for Nepal).

Thank you for your consideration. We are grateful for the support of our DAI family and friends.

Blessings,
Jane Overstreet  
President/CEO

P.S. Please watch our Facebook page for updates facebook.com/daintl

 

 

Why Leaders Need Teaching Skills

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Teaching in MalawiSomething that many people, both students and supporters, find unusual in DAI’s MA in Organisational Leadership, is that one of the first two courses that students are required to take is one that is called “Teaching and Learning for Impact”. “Why”, students say, “do we need to study a course about teaching when we’ve enrolled for a course about leadership?” Maybe they have a point. But maybe DAI looks on the course from a different perspective!

We believe that one of the key principles of leadership is empowering others; that we develop those that we lead. DAI’s philosophy is that the courses our students take are not for their benefit alone, but also for the benefit of others in their churches, ministries and organisations.

One of the first questions that we ask in the Teaching & Learning for Impact course is “How do people learn in your culture?” Having got answers like “sitting in a classroom listening to the teacher” and “through lectures”, we get the students to think a bit more deeply, by making the observation that the answers they’ve given describe how people teach, not how people learn. So we ask the question again: “How do people learn – really learn – in your culture?” And then we get more thoughtful responses like “through stories”, “through discussion”, “through taking part in the learning”.

And this is why we think it important to include a course on how adults learn at the outset of the 3-year course, because we want our students to pass on what they’re learning to others – and to pass it on in an effective way: not by “telling” them, not by “lecturing”, but by using methods that will help the people they’re working with really learn! We aim to turn their thinking turned upside down, so they think about learning and learners as opposed to teaching and teachers!

In terms of the course material, we get them exploring what it says in the Gospels about how Jesus taught different groups of people, and they see that he used stories, parables, demonstrations, discussion, questions, practice and feedback. We get them thinking about their experience of learning, and then use this to help them understand some basic principles of effective learning: that people need to want to learn or recognize their need to learn, the importance of learning by doing, of making sense of what they are learning and the value of receiving feedback on their learning. We get them thinking about different learning methods and the strengths and weakness of each of these methods. We get them working on designing learning outcomes, creating lesson plans and evaluating.

As with every course in the MA programme, the Teaching & Learning for Impact course has a profound impact on our students. Irene from Uganda commented, “I thought you were coming to teach us how to be better lecturers, but you completely changed our thinking and got us to focus on learning and the learners; I’ll never just lecture again!

Noel, who works with World Vision in Sri Lanka said “The Adult learning course has enabled me to become a great facilitator with village groups. I use the practical knowledge I gained from the course in my training sessions with them. They are no longer boring but have become very practical and useful for the participants”.

And Megan, who is a health worker in rural Nepal, said “The residency at the beginning of the course was a good introduction to all the topics and referring back to what was done there has been helpful as I have gone through the workbook. The workbook itself is very well presented in an easy to use format and I particularly like the way that each unit builds on the last with continual reference back to the key factors that are foundational to effective learning making everything fit together. Even though I am not a teacher as such I can apply a lot of the principles in my day to day work and in training others on the job”.

 

John Rogers Thumbnail (1)Author: John Rogers is DAI’s Senior Consultant for Non-Formal Training and Adult Education and is based in London, UK. He is the author of the course materials for the Teaching & Learning for Impact course and has taught the course with MA students in Uganda, Burundi, Nigeria, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Leading From Below

Monday, April 20th, 2015
Leading from Below

Leading from below…like in rock climbing

Robert Greenleaf, in his book Servant Leadership, talks about two kinds of leaders. The first is the strong, natural leader who likes to take charge, make decisions and give orders. The second is the natural servant who assumes leadership simply because doing so is the best way to serve. This is the kind of person Jesus is looking for (Matthew 20:26-27).

Servanthood is a motivation that drives behavior. It is a question of character, not of activity. It is part of a person’s nature, not a “leadership style.” A servant is not concerned about role, status or power. They are concerned about serving. They are concerned about laying down their lives for those they serve (John 10:10).

What are the characteristics of a servant?

  • They are always concerned about the best interests of those they lead – over and above their own best interest.
  • They are committed to the growth and development of those they lead. They mentor, they coach, the give of themselves to their followers.
  • They have no problem with obligation or duty. Servants are willing to accept obligation and duty. Leaders like to be free to decide, to make decisions about their future, and often, to put others under obligation.
  • They have a desire to be accountable. Servants don’t simply accept accountability, they seek it. The attitude of a person towards accountability is a good indication as to whether or not they have the heart of a servant.
  • They care for those they lead. True care and concern is expressed in action. Servants shepherd those they lead.
  • They are willing to listen. Servants listen, because they want to know how to serve. Servants listen to God. They understand that often God speaks through others – even to those they are leading and to those who may criticize them. Leaders don’t listen – they speak and others listen.
  • They have a heart of genuine humility.
  • They are willing to share power. Servants are always looking for way to empower others, even if it means that they will be overshadowed by those who are more capable.

Are you and I servants? Are we leading from below?

Read More on Leadership: From Below, Not Above

Karl Mueller (2) - Copy (270x270)Author: Karl Mueller, DAI Senior Consultant for Church and Leadership Services, strengthens international partnerships between ministries around the world and churches in the USA. He joined DAI in 2014 and brings with him 35 years of ministry experience. Karl serves on the boards of African Leadership And Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) and Community Health Evangelism (CHE).

The Dilemma of the Scandalous Promise

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Man-In-Prayer-Christian-Stock-Photo

What is the most outrageous/challenging/scandalous promise that Jesus made to His disciples and invited them to engage in?

When a research student at Princeton asked, “what is left in the world for original research?” Albert Einstein replied, “Find out about prayer, somebody must find out about prayer.”

The disciples wanted to learn this, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (NOT teach us about prayer). Prayer is an expression of who we are. Do you struggle in the area of prayer? I do. Don’t think I am a bad guy. In a pharisaic mode I have all the ingredients of prayer and at specific times too. All of us pray in some measure. A devout Jew will pray three times a day-Daniel had this routine. Similarly the Jewish Christians, Peter and John. A Muslim will pray 5 times. David would go for seven. But, we are called to be in this ministry of praying without ceasing! Non-stop-24/7. No one need to convince me on the importance of prayer. Most people whom God used in history spent hours in prayer.

Philip Yancy interviewed several Christians and concluded the following. How long did they pray? 5-7 minutes. Did they find prayer satisfying? Not really. Did they sense God’s presence when they prayed? Occasionally.

There seems to be a gap between praying in theory and practice. In theory, prayer is the priceless privilege of point of contact with the God of the universe. It is communion with the creator God – a one man audience. Prayer is the sure weapon that God has given to us, yet it’s commonly used as the last resort when everything else fails. Why not use prayer as a strategy? Will it work?

In practice it is often confusing and frustrating. When I suggested to a friend that we should pray before a journey – He said, “Why? I know my car and the road.” When our pantry is stocked with a month’s supply, how meaningfully can we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread?” Where does God fit into a busy life that is already behind schedule? I keep getting many prayer requests from friends, family and colleagues and am trying hard to be faithful.

We all know the strategic importance of prayer. God has amazing plans for people and nations. He wants His Beloved to seek Him and ask Him.

God invites us to pray.

Jeremiah 29:10-14: God says, “I will visit you, fulfill my word to you and bring you back from exile. I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” God of hope is encouraging our hearts.

Whatever is happening is not random things. Sovereign Lord’s plans are just unfolding. His plans bring Shalom to us. Hence there is hope. Yes God this is great, you know the details, go ahead and do it. He invites us to pray in His presence. Come to me, call on me, your Abba, pray to me. This is a call for intimacy. Ask, pray, seek, behold Him, knock, act in faith.

He wants us to seek Him whole heartedly. To tell Him, all I want is you Lord. I am not seeking for answers to problems, but you. Seeking you as a precious Jewel. He is waiting to reveal Himself. “I will be found by you.” Have you played hide and seek with a 2-year-old? In the end you will say, I found Him.

What a joy this is! He wants us to be involved in His plan and in the end for us to have the joy. This is like the 3-year-old who was serious about helping her Dad to build the steps. Father allowed her to be a part of this big job. In the end she proudly said, “I and Dad built the steps.” He has a plan to restore our inheritance to us. The spirit of the Lord will accomplish this. I feel encouraged to move with God, led by His Spirit into His mission that He has invited me to be a part of.

Jesus invited us to pray this prayer.

In John chapters 14-16, a very important subject on which Jesus taught is a new dimension of prayer: Ask in Jesus name to Jesus and the Father, limitless asking, limited only by His unconditional love expressed on the cross. Anything that comes in such a heart that abides in Him and His love, however scandalous as it may sound, it is yours. Seven times it is repeated: “Whatever you ask….”

He Himself prayed and He continues to pray even today.

Am I convinced? Not really. When things get tough and I can’t handle it, I pray. When I am against a wall and a door needs to open, I seek and knock very hard. I remember certain seasons I prayed such prayers.

Three specific phases of growth I have noticed in my own prayer journey.

  1. When I asked for impossible things still unsure in my heart, yet God answered and surprised me. My heart was full of joy and excitement and it felt so good to walk with this God
  2. I asked fully knowing that He is able to do what I am asking but ended up not receiving what I asked. I went through questions, doubts, and fears. My heart still trusted him. I had support from hundreds of brothers and sisters across the world. Jesus himself, my best intercessor was in this prayer. My precious wife Helen who suffered from cancer, intense pain for three years, went to be with the Lord. In that season, someone asked me, “Will you pray again?” Absolutely. That season of wilderness taught me to pray. Where else can I go? I am utterly dependent on Him.
  3. I tell Him that I know that He is good and that I am excited about walking with Him. Here the excitement is not because of the answer, but He Himself is the reason. We have prayed in many crisis situations and He answered us.

My question to myself is this, “Why is this prayer not my primary strategy?” Prayer helps me to see reality from God’s vantage point. This will bring me to a place of brokenness and contrition. My selfishness, pride, deceit and lack of compassion will be exposed. It will bring out the best heart attitude, that of helplessness. “Only he who is helpless can truly pray.”

In a generation that exalts self-reliance, this is not an exciting invitation. He did not promise, “Try your best, when you can’t, I will be there.” Instead he said, “Without me you can do nothing.” Do I have enough time and space for God? I encourage others to have it. Privilege to meet with God, how many of us will jump for it? Look at the One who encourages us to pray. Jesus, the Son of God. His life was full of prayer. Hebrews 5:7 says during His days on earth, Jesus maintained His rhythm of prayer. We read his High priestly prayer in John 17. And the prayer see other elements of the Gethsemane prayer in the gospels. In Matt 26:38, Jesus says, “This sorrow is crushing my life out.” Mark 14: 35 (MSG) reads “Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out. ‘Papa, Father, you can-can’t you? Get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want, what do you want?’”

I was thinking, how much we have achieved with so little prayer. What if, we dared to ask?

In India, we are thinking of team expansion, expansion of operations, tackling challenges, increasing impact, engaging with changes, looking ahead. In the DAI global context we are doing similar things, looking ahead.

In looking ahead, I ask myself, “How am I going to make prayer intentional in all that I do (also for the team)?”

“How do I understand the scandalous promises of God and claim it?”

“Can I commit myself to a life style of prayer?”

“Do I so desperately need Him?”

“Will I commit myself and be excited about this privilege?”

“Will I intentionally do something about it?”

And I ask the same of you.

Let us pray. Lord, teach us to pray. Help us to pray the prayer that pleases your heart and bring your Kingdom here. Fascinate our eyes with your beauty and convince our minds of our helplessness that we may be drawn to you. We hear your invitation to seek you. We confess that often we have been seeking answers for our problems rather than seeking you. Shake us out of our complacency. Help us O Lord. We pray this In Jesus name, Amen.

Prayer (2)Author: Dr. Sam Thomas currently works as the Executive Director of Development Associates Initiative, India; as a part-time teacher at New Theological College, Dehradun; and as a professor for Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership conducted by DAI. Apart from this, Sam and his wife Sashi, are involved with non-formal training of church leaders in India and surrounding nations. They are passionate about seeing servant leaders who are passionate lovers of God.

Sam is a medical doctor by profession, trained as a pediatric surgeon. He worked with various mission organizations as a medical missionary for about 28 years. He was with Emmanuel Hospital Association for 17 years, during which time he also served as the Medical Director of two of its hospitals.