Last night we took Kathy (my sister-in-law who has been staying with us) out to the Genesis Ranch (www.thegenesisranch.com) for youth camp. She is helping chaperon (Okay, I volunteered her – she needed to get out of the house). We arrived just in time to hear pastor Dan’s message. He was preaching! (That’s slightly more energetic than teaching). The message was about salvation and what fruit you are baring in your life. It’s a tough message to preach and a tough one to hear. No matter who you are and what you’ve done, you begin to ask yourself, “What fruit have I been producing lately?”
(What fruit have you been producing lately??)
During the alter call, I was sitting in the back considering this question. For several years, I worked on writing a book. I thought, when the book was complete that in regard to ministry opportunities, things would suddenly “take off” and I would be asked to help with developing and training on the subject of prayer. I thought churches and ministries would be interested in learning more about setting up prayer teams. It hasn’t all unfolded with the intensity I expected. If I think about it, I have been a little disappointed with the response. A book is only good if people read it. I was feeling a little disappointed in my own fruit.
Later, after getting Kathy settled in and saying “Hi” to a few people, we began making our way back to the car. Pastor Dan stopped to chat with us for a moment and he said to me, “Hey, we (him and his wife Judy) are reading your book. We are using it for our morning devotional. It is really good. It’s challenging us.” I almost cried.
Several years ago a friend of mine, Daniel (not to be confused with Pastor Dan), asked me if I thought this book was going to be a best seller. My response was, “No. But my hope is it will change the face of the church as we know it.”. I was a little surprised by the response. I hope that a small book that I was writing on the subject of intercessory prayer would change how churches pray…I hope it will help groups of people pray with unity and focus so extreme and pray the heart of God so closely that God will hear and answer in a powerful way! That’s a pretty big order for a little book and a young woman without a seminary degree.
To hear someone say, “It’s good, it’s challenging us to approach prayer differently…” that is the fruit I have been hoping to see.
Dennis and I were discussing the message on our way home. No matter what we have done or are doing, we always feel we are not producing enough fruit. We are always challenging ourselves. I hope we continue to be the kind of people who want to produce good fruit.