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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Learning to pray in the Spirit

About 2,000 people were inspired to "pray in the Spirit at all times" (Ephesians 6) at two Global Mission Events held in July at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash., and Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.

In his opening address, Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson said the church faces two challenges: the rising number of people in the world who don't know the gospel and the growing gap between rich and poor. Of the first challenge, the bishop said, "To pray at all times means to listen at all times. We are asked to listen and then to speak of the depth of our love for Jesus Christ."

Facing the second challenge can feel paralyzing, he said, adding, "We see it as a social problem, an economic problem. But it's a spiritual problem — we are cut off from the people of the world because we love our possessions, our things. ...

"To 'pray in the Spirit' is to pray for all other human souls who ask God for daily bread and live on less than we do."

Participants also heard Philip Tan Sink Dark, pastor of Christ Lutheran, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, share how that congregation overcame obstacles and grew through prayer. "It's the business of Christians to pray," he said. "Without prayer there's no power for mission and no clear sense of direction."


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