CULTURE OF PRAYER & THE WORD
I grew up in church, so it was common for me to pray when I needed God to come through for me (ie: paying tuition or passing a class). Because God is faithful, He always came through for me, even when my heart was far away from Him. In church culture, I would hear people say things like “God told me” or “God spoke to me” but I never understood what this meant. Was it an audible voice? Was it just a thought? How did they know that it really wasn’t just their own thought? It wasn’t until I met God in a quiet and very lonely place that He and I developed a friendship and I learned to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I came to NYC loving to be alone. I didn’t want a roommate and I didn’t want to go out with friends. I just wanted to be alone in my apartment and hang out with my dog. I called it “Me Time.” Some time passed and “Me Time” stopped being fun. It was a strange and new feeling because up until this point, I loved being alone. Now, I was frustrated with everything from not being in a relationship to not being where I hoped in my career. I cried out to God in the form of journaling. I started with “Dear God…”. I would tell Him that I was hurt and sad and lonely and frustrated. Before I knew it, the pages were filled and I was onto the next journal. The cool thing was, and to my surprise, the pages weren’t just filled with me talking. As I would grapple with God, He would speak back to me through His word. It would go something like this: “God, you said: if I delight myself in you, you’ll give me the desires of my heart. God, you said: if I seek you first, all things will be added to me. God, you said: you will withhold no good thing from me. God, you said: your thoughts about me are precious.” The word of God is POWERFUL and God uses it to speak and breathe life into us.
We read about the miracles that Jesus performed in the Bible like turning water into wine and raising the dead to life. We can also clearly recognize modern day miracles when we see a sick person healed after someone prays for them. However, the greatest miracle is a heart once far away from God now turned close to Him. You and me: once far from God, now forever changed by His love. It’s so in our nature to go astray, but God in His perfect kindness calls us back to Himself. I love that that these miracles are so beautifully interwoven into the culture of our church through C3 NYC STØRIES. I pray that we never stop being in awe of the work God is doing in our hearts through prayer and His word.
— TAYLOR CARTER