‘Come with me by yourselves, to a quiet place and get some rest.’

Mark 6.31

How would you like to start the new year? At Hope into Action we are thankful that we can come together online, and draw closer to God and his purposes for us in the year ahead.

God’s purpose for Ed Walker in founding Hope into Action, a network of churches housing the homeless, was not immediately clear to him. In this extract from his book, A House Built on Love, he lets us in on his journey through prayer.

If you would like to give your prayer more direction and discover something new in 2022, why not try our guide, Finding Jesus in the Poor.

It offers you seven short sessions discussing themes such as shame, judgement and compassion and is a wonderful resource for sharing in a group. We would love to hear what you think God has in store for you.

Get your copy here. 

Here’s what Ed shares about his growing sense of God’s purpose for him:

“It took a long time for my thoughts, experiences and ideas to percolate through and to crystallise. I would now say it was a process of God working in me. The Christian language for it might be that I was developing ‘a sense of calling’.

While it is true I was wrestling with all the things I have described, if you had analysed my prayer life it would have revealed much more about my desire for promotion, extra money and extra responsibility than it would any genuine desire for the poor, the church or, frankly, following God’s will.

The fulcrum, the point at which Hope into Action was birthed, was the night I decided to submit my flawed and fallen will to His. I was at Soul Survivor, with its large celebration evenings at which God often moved in amazing ways. In my case, though, God didn’t speak to me in one of the main events. Rather it was when I was left on my own to babysit while everyone else in our group was out having fun in the party atmosphere. I normally love camping, but that night, lying on my bed, in the dark, dank night, surrounded by a thousand other tents and aware that everyone was having more fun than I was, I felt distinctly grumpy.

For some reason, I had brought along a book called Issues facing Christians in Sudan, a tome of over 400 pages. As I was wading through it, one particular, very simple sentence struck me between the eyes: ‘prayer is submitting your will to God’s, not the other way round.’[i]

In that moment, I realized my entire prayer life was about me trying to get God to endorse my will for my life. I was actually treating Him like my servant, when obviously the complete opposite should be the case.  As I combined this revelation with my swirling thoughts about the needs I had seen and my conviction that the churches should be more fully engaged, I sensed I needed to do something in response.

I reconnected with the incredible words of Mary, ‘may it happen to me as you have said.’’[ii] I also reflected on the wonderful words from the Psalms: ‘Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.’[iii]

As a response, I formulated a prayer that I resolved to pray every day for the next six months: ‘Lord, put on my heart Your will for my life, and give me the courage to follow.’

It was a prayer that I found terrifying—because I already had a hunch about where it might lead.”           


If you would like to discover for yourself the full story of Ed’s journey and meet some of the people who shaped it, then please order your copy of A House Built on Love here

[i] Pastor Colin Salter. Issues Facing Christians in Sudan Today. Weefour Publications 2009. 

[ii] Luke 1.38 GNB

[iii] Psalm 37.4