Mark Batterson believes in the power of prayer. Prayer has fueled the astonishing growth of National Community Church (NCC) here in the DC area. NCC started two decades ago as a new church plant and now has eight locations, successfully reaching emerging generations. These are folks we Methodists yearn to reach. A group of us visited Mark last fall to learn about how prayer—both personal and corporate—is at the heart of NCC’s great fruitfulness.

In Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, Mark writes:
One of my heroes is Peter Marshall, the former chaplain of the United States Senate … Peter Marshall believed in an action-oriented approach to Scripture:

“I wonder what would happen if we all agreed to read one of the Gospels, until we came to a place that told us to do something, then went out to do it, and only after we had done it … began reading again?”…

Pray about everything. Then pray some more. But at some point, we have to quit praying and start acting. One of the great mistakes we make is asking God to do for us what God wants us to do for Him …

I love the habit that Mark has developed at NCC—a habit of praying, acting, and then praying again. Prayer is a habit not just for individual members, but for the whole congregation.
Batterson goes on to reflect on Scripture:

The title of the book of Acts says it all, doesn’t it? It’s not the book of Ideas or Words. It’s the book of Acts. And if we said less and did more, I believe we would have the same kind of impact the first century church had.

I dream of churches in the Arlington District having the kind of multiplying power to make new disciples that Mark Batterson’s church has. I dream of having the kind of impact through our churches that John Wesley had: spreading “scriptural holiness throughout the land.” I believe we are in a time when people never needed the Gospel more. Can we bring them a word of hope in the midst of their despair?

Mark shared a story that may be apocryphal, of a pastor going to England, and praying at the very placed where John Wesley had his “heart strangely warmed.” And the pastor prayed:

“Do it again, Lord. Do it again.”

The pastor was … Billy Graham. And that’s my prayer for us, in this day, and this time:

“Do it again, Lord. Do it again.”