From our earliest days, the Nazarenes have been known as people of prayer. The holiness movement, which gave birth to the Church of the Nazarene, was bathed in prayer. It was through intentional times spent in prayer that the Holy Spirit was poured out and people were transformed. These followers of Christ began to reach out and minister to a world that was in desperate need of hope. As individuals restored in the image of God, they encouraged one another to engage in kingdom living. As a result, they became a movement of Christlike disciples, impacting their world as they preached scriptural holiness and ministered to people on the margins of life.
The Church of the Nazarene in the United States and Canada now finds itself living out its second century. While we are removed from those early Nazarenes through time and space, we sense a need to reconnect to those times of prayer. Just as the early church was guided in its work and ministry, so we need the Lord to provide direction for our ministry today. The world is in a state of rapid change, and the only way the church can adequately respond is through participation with our transcendent God. Therefore, we are calling the church to a special time of prayer. We invite you to join us in this spiritual journey of seeking the face of God. Take up this journal, follow along with the Scriptures, and pray. Together we will be praying for God’s protection, direction, and revelation. While we can map out our strategic plans, God has something even better in mind; but it is only revealed to us when we become partakers of the divine nature through prayer.
The church is in desperate need of renewal and resurgence. Paul reminds us in his epistle to the Romans that we are to be transformed through the renewing of our minds. Spiritual renewal begins in each one of us, and this is where we begin our prayers. It is in the renewing of our minds that we are enabled to link arms with our sisters and brothers in Christ and experience spiritual renewal on a corporate basis. May God help us to experience renewal and spiritual revival, both individually and collectively.
Our prayer is that the result of this spiritual renewal will lead to a resurgence of the work and ministry of the church on the USA/Canada region. Christianity is currently at a crossroads where the church is challenged to rise up and reflect Jesus or slip into insignificance. When we are renewed, we are transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. What if the resurgence that lies ahead is one in which Christlike disciples live out the character and nature of Jesus in the world? This is only possible when we spend time in the presence of the one who shapes and forms us into his image.
Won’t you join us on this spiritual journey? Please, set aside time daily to get to know the heart and mind of Christ. It is in this space that the Lord will lead us into his future and a resurgence of the witness of Jesus the Nazarene in this world.
—Carla D. Sunberg, PhD, General Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene