In Episode 18, we are chatting with Boyd Ratnaraja, pastor at Elim Christian Centre in Aukland and head of Elim in New Zealand, which comprises a network of 38 churches around that nation.
We kick off with an unfortunate international time zone mess-up, which means Boyd is chatting over WhatsApp wifi audio at 7am in the morning his time, rather than 9am. (Thanks for being so gracious Boyd!)
Boyd who is originally from Sri Lanka introduces us to his wife and two young boys, and also shares a great story from his childhood about ‘playing church’ and practising pastoring, including baptising his twin brother Lloyd lots of times in their parents’ fish tank!
We talk about how God makes us feel so at home in different churches around the world, and the family atmosphere among Elim churches. Boyd says that his network of churches all have a sign saying ‘Welcome Home’ to affirm that sense of belonging for everyone participating.
Boyd describes a 21-day prayer initiative in Elim New Zealand, where they come together in prayer twice a year as a movement to seek God on lots of issues. He affirms that prayer is the foundation for everything they are about, bringing clarity, focus and prayer. Prayer should be a first response and not a last resort.
He always encourages men to kick-start their prayer life by starting where they are right now, even if it is just for 5 minutes a day. It’s the quality of our faith that makes the big difference, not the number of words we are speaking. Boyd prays throughout the day, and he prays with others, and he encourages us to use technology to connect with others to pray too.
As a self-confessed extrovert, Boyd says he likes to move around while praying – while out walking, or going down to the beach. We should be enjoying prayer, not, enduring it!
God has been speaking to Boyd recently about the faith of Abraham and Sarah, and how they were called to step out by faith, and to trust in God. If we take the first step, we can trust Him for the journey, and He will do the extraordinary provided we do the ordinary to initiate the process, in response to God’s call.
We unpack how blokes can easily become averse to risks in God, whereas we need to be modelling what steps of faith look like to the next generation. Caleb and Joshua looked the land with different eyes than their colleagues – with eyes of faith.
We talk about what the flip side to faith can produce, and discuss how Zechariah’s experience with doubt caused two of his senses to be temporarily removed. An applicable solution to feeling stuck in faith is to speak out God’s promises and truths.
Our ‘spin the wheel’ game reveals that Boyd experienced a time when God spoke incredibly strongly to him when he was in early twenties at a Hillsong Conference in 2003 about his future ministry; and also reveals an addiction to his son’s computer game ‘Cooking Fever’!
Boyd closed the podcast in prayer for all the guys listening. Thanks so much Boyd!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/elim-mpower/message