Blane has served on staff at Chi Alpha at American University for several years and became the Campus Director in the Fall of 2014. He and his wife Hannah currently have a six-month-old whom they affectionately call their "handful of joy". His name is Jeremiah and he's pretty much the cutest.
The role of prayer should be more central than it is, more dynamic that it currently feels and much more revered than I’ve let it be.
Talk about starting off heavy, right?
This has been something that God has been teaching me and I think I’ve been learning it very slowly. It’s that prayerlessness is a theological deficiency in that the power of the Gospel is lost. That’s the scary thing about being a Christian and even being a minister, once we’re in it for awhile, we can get by because we know the language and some of the answers.
But in ministry, where we are trying to connect people with Jesus so that he can do what only he can do in their lives (i.e. transformation) - where prayer is lacking, lasting change is lacking as well. That’s painful to write, but the Holy Spirit has really drawn my attention to this weakness in my life and ministry, especially by using a book about ministry by John Piper.
That’s one of the reasons that our summer theme is Pray and Play this year. Two basics things, speaking with God (and listening, of course) and hanging out with other people. But sometimes, it’s the simplest of things that we leave behind in search for that elusive depth when all along, the depth was obscured in the old while we thought it was hidden in the new. I’ve been praying more. For myself, my family and our ministry. Why? Because it’s too hard and there’s too much at stake for Jesus not to show up. Yeah, I can be half-way funny and genuinely empathetic (on a good day) but people don’t need me, they need Jesus.
Whether it’s an open mic for responsive prayer at a worship night, pre-service prayer time, sharing a need with our student leadership team, leading the staff in extended prayer times - I want to be someone that is so closely relying on Christ that thinking of doing it myself feels both unrealistic and completely unnecessary.
Sadly, if you’re like me, you’ve prioritized productivity to time in the presence and you’ve been to many boring (non-strategic, stale) prayer meetings that you’ve used that as an excuse.
But in the words of Michelangelo (the artist, not the turtle hero), we critique best by creating.
Let’s create space for ourselves and invite others into it, to pray. Because we serve the God if the impossible and I’m learning that most of the time, he’s just waiting to come through in a miraculous way. Just waiting for us to ask for help.