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'Prayer is Changing Our City,' Says Pastor of Largest Church on Capitol Hill

Josh Shepherd : Oct 24, 2017  Stream.org

"For most people who live outside the Beltway, there's a lot of skepticism and cynicism. Much of it is warranted. But at the end of the day, I am seeing God's Kingdom come in a unique way here in D.C. It starts and ends with prayer. In between, we are seeing so many people come to faith in Christ." -Pastor Mark Batterson

[Stream.org] Mark Batterson has many titles, but perhaps the most apt is truth-seeker. For over two decades, "Pastor Mark" as he's known has led National Community Church (NCC) in one of the nation's most religiously diverse cities— Washington, DC. (Photo: Pastor Mark Batterson joins in worship with the National Community Church family, where more than 3,500 people in the D.C. metro area attend weekly services/Stream.org)

Many young Capitol Hill staffers are a fast-paced, driven crowd with little time for religion. It's often a hard city to thrive spiritually, as Batterson has seen up close. "One of two things happens over time," he says. "Our theology can conform to our reality, where we kind of dumb down what we believe."

"Or our reality can conform to our theology. I think the latter is the process of spiritual growth," states Batterson. More than discussing abstracts, he leans on stories and word-pictures in his messages—including his new book Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. It picks up where he left off in The Circle Maker, a best-seller on prayer read by over two million people.

Batterson believes listening to God and applying what is said are what makes the NCC family an uplifting presence in the metro area. In recent years, it has become the largest church based in the nation's capital city. More than 3,500 people worship weekly at 13 services across eight NCC locations. In an interview from his downtown DC office, he shares his experiences as pastor and truth-seeker...

Below is an excerpt of this interview, click here to read the full article.

The Stream: You've long been connected to the global prayer movement, which has become more visible in DC in recent years. As prayer across the political aisle has increased, do you see it impacting Capitol Hill?

Mark Batterson: I do. After writing The Circle Maker, I had a number of Members of Congress who reached out to me. Each said a variation of: I just want you to know I am circling the Capitol in prayer. We don't hear about that on the nightly news, but it's awfully encouraging.

We are praying for revival in our nation's capital. Maybe that's a bold prayer—so be it.

For most people who live outside the Beltway, there's a lot of skepticism and cynicism. Much of it is warranted. But at the end of the day, I am seeing God's Kingdom come in a unique way here in DC. It starts and ends with prayer. In between, we are seeing so many people come to faith in Christ.

I for one am encouraged. We are praying for revival in our nation's capital. Maybe that's a bold prayer—so be it. That's what we're believing for.

Read the full article here.







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