With Christ in the School of Prayer - Preface
Preface: A Special Note to the Instructors
Take another look at His life on earth and the possibilities for His life and leadership among us now."
Christ wants to come into your home, into your small group of prayer partners and into your church and actively take charge in order to create a "new" kind of community sharing His life and displaying His character.
The first followers of Christ were bound together in divine love and truth by our Lord's active ministry among them. Today, He is ready to be more powerfully active among us than when He walked with His apostles in the Holy Land! Take another look at His life on earth and the possibilities for His life and leadership among us now.
The gospels tell us about the life of Christ and how He gathered disciples around Him. The Lord Jesus was obviously present and actively in charge. The training His followers received was unique. He was the perfect role model of an absolutely new and different kind of life.
The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man. He showed them how God would act among sinful, selfish people. He chose to rule not by ordering their reluctant obedience, but by winning their love and their admiration of His beautiful, humble character. He did the lowly servant's duty of washing their feet.
He gave Peter the hope that he would become a rock of stability. Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Him, but assured him that he would recover and be able to strengthen his brethren. Jesus gave His disciples the vision that they would become fishers of men. This vision was fulfilled.
No one else ever spoke like the Lord Jesus Christ or lived as the perfect representative of God as He did. No one ever won people's hearts by divine love like Christ did. He finally died for man's sins. After He rose from the grave, He spent forty days teaching His disciples. Their failure to stand by Him when He was on trial humbled them and prepared them to learn some new lessons. During this post-resurrection ministry, Jesus was preparing them for life after His ascension to heaven.
Who would take His place as their Lord and their Head? No man did. He told them to wait for the Holy Spirit whom He would send. The Holy Spirit is the perfect representative of Christ. He came to say and do only what Christ commands (John 16:13). He is here to glorify Christ and share the spiritual wealth of Christ with believers (John 16:14-15; Gal. 5:22-23).
Christ went to heaven to take charge of the church by the Holy Spirit and fill the church with His own risen life of holiness, love, grace and spiritual power. Christ can take charge of the church now far more effectively from His present position of supreme power and authority than when He was on earth in the flesh. Just read how the church multiplied and turned the ancient world upside down in the book of Acts! Notice how Paul, the apostle who had such an enormous role in the church through writing so much of the New Testament and through his far flung missionary work, was converted and trained after Christ ascended to heaven! Do we need further proof that the Holy Spirit can come into our midst today and take charge as the perfect representative of Christ?
The First purpose of this Leader's Guide
The first purpose of this Leader's Guide is to share with you how Christ comes into our midst today when we unite in faith and pray Bible-based prayers. As faith in His presence spreads, your whole church plus many other churches can share the joy, the grace and the power of His Holy Presence. We need to ask ourselves a heart searching question: "Is prayer changing our form of Christianity into the likeness of Christ?" If your answer is "no," then study on!