Over the last few months, numerous people have asked how and why Wendy and I decided to move to Austin, TX. And while I could wax eloquently about a number of different things that contributed to this event in the life of our family, I am finding the answer to be simply PRAYER. However, it may not be what you think. Although a lot of prayer went into this decision, I’m finding that I am in Austin not just as a result of prayer … but to LEARN about the power of God and prayer.


In each season of our lives, Wendy and I have been given the opportunity to grow in very specific ways and it is clear that this next season will be dedicated to refining our prayer life. What we are realizing is that God has moved us to a church that is dedicated to prayer. In just eight short weeks of being a part of Hyde Park Baptist Church, Wendy and I have benefited from this “House of Prayer for all Nations” in ways that we have not experienced before and did not expect. There are a several things we have been reminded of lately.

1. God changes things. 

change-architect-sign1The Bible is clear that God is immutable (unchanging). He is the unchanging Changer of all things and the unmoved Mover of all things. My prayer will never change God but, when I pray, God changes me and my circumstances. God is also unlimited in power. Because of this, we should never hesitate to PRAY BIG! He is more powerful than all our money … all our friends … all our enemies … and all our obstacles. He is the most powerful and influential connection we have. I guess life really is all about Who you know.

If you need help with the details of life… PRAY.

2. The family that prays together stays together.

iStock_000005074501MediumWhen I accepted the job in Austin, Wendy and I decided that she and the girls would stay in North Carolina and finish out the school year while I went ahead to Texas. Over the past two months I have been separated locationally from my family more than any other time in my life. However, we are closer than ever relationally because of prayer. No matter how far apart you are from the ones you love, prayer keeps you close and connected. Even if you see your friends and family everyday it is still possible to drift apart relationally over time.

If you are feeling disconnected from a loved one… PRAY.

3. Discomfort develops character. 

5142c41184c49f1e2493b057It seems that no good deed in life goes unpunished. Significant happenings in the Kingdom of God always involve hard work as well as resistance and retaliation from the enemy. Spiritual warfare is real and should be expected. As you follow God, buckle your seatbelt because His will and plan for our lives rarely involves comfort. He is much more concerned with developing our character than with helping us discover places of comfort. When you feel resistance and discomfort, it may just be a sign that your are on the right track. It is not going to be easy… but following God is always worth it.

If you are uncomfortable and need strength… PRAY!


Wendy and I are currently reading a book titled “The Hour that Changes the World” by Dick Eastman. It was recommended to us by our Pastor, Dr. Kie Bowman, and we have already recommended it to several friends who are joining us in reading it. If you are looking to grow in your personal prayer life, this could be a great place to start.9780800793135

4 thoughts on “WHY MOVE TO AUSTIN?

  1. Thanks for presenting a timely word, Stephen! I appreciate your statement about God’s plan making us move out of our comfort zone. Having come through 6 months of unemployment, my husband and I have been very uncomfortable and yet through that experience, we gained a deeper level of trust in God and each other. Our prayers changed from “please give us a job” to “You have all control and that’s okay”. The job came but the real victory was the trust growth we underwent.
    Thanks again for a great post.

  2. Prayer has given me peace so many times and in making the right decisions. Without God by our side to continue to walk with us we would surely be lost. Thank you for your words of wisdom on Prayer.

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