Friday, September 28, 2007

Prayer...

I have concluded in the past 5 minutes that the key to growing in your relationship with Christ is prayer. Why have I concluded this? Many, many reasons...too many to name; but ultimately, I have concluded this because I've experienced it.
- God has done the most through me when I've been in prayer
- I have been closest to Him when I pray
- I only have the ability to change circumstances when I pray
- I've seen God's power displayed in people who pray
Prayer is the key to everything.

Consider for a moment two remarkable passages in Scripture;
1) Jesus clears out the temple and says "my house shall be called a house of prayer." Not preaching, not music, not Bible studies or small group meetings or any of that other stuff, but PRAYER. Does that mean that other stuff is bad? Of course not! We need preaching and teaching, we need worship and music, we need to be in community together and in small groups. However, NONE of that will substitute for prayer.

2) Revelation 5:8 - "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." Somehow, the prayers that we offer are so precious to God that He keeps them in golden bowls of incense...the sweet, beautiful smells of incense.

Consider again this equation; TLC2 (the "2" means squared). I once heard that the key to any relation is T (Time) + L (Love) + C (Communication) + C (Commitment). Get those ingredients in that order and you can make any relationship work. So what's my point? How many of us long to be closer to God, long to see His power at work in our lives, but never get to "first base" with God - we never spend TIME with Him? What is prayer? It is many things, to be sure, and I have much to learn about prayer...but at it's essence, prayer is spending time with God.

I can no longer avoid the fact that if I ever want to grow spiritually, if I ever want to become more fully the man that God has planned, if I ever want to reach my spiritual potential, I must pray. I must pray when I feel like it and pray when I don't. It will not be easy; it will require sacrifice...it will be worth it.

I never want to go through life looking back at all the times God's power was displayed, looking forward to the times when it will once again be displayed, and never actually experience any of that power in my life.

Here's the deal; I've known this fact for about 6 years...and yet I'm no further along in my prayer life than I was back then. To be sure, I've had great moments of prayer and I've hit some highs, but then I sink back. I began reading a book this week called "Could You Not Tarry One Hour?" I knew before I opened it what it would do to me...but someplace, deep inside me knows I need to read it, I need to let myself be convicted again, and I need to pray. Here is one quote from this book I'll share with you; "Face the Facts. If you do not begin to pray, you will not be any further along with the Lord next year than you are right now. There is always the agony of choice before the promise of change."

So how about you? Will you join me in prayer? Will you take the first step and ask God to really change you? If you're already there, pray for me. I want more!

2 comments:

The Silbermans said...

Mike, I believe you have hit the nail on the head! I have experienced much of the same as yourself. Back in April I read a book which I highly recommend for anyone who hungers for prayer, called, "Prayer that Brings Results" by David Yonggi Cho. He wrote it last decade, but many of the things really impacted my life. He helped me realize the power and importance of prayer and fasting. At the same time I was reading the book, I was studying Nehemiah. Nehemiah prayed BEFORE he did ANYTHING. What an example of leadership. Total dependence on God! I have been so blessed since I've read that book and my prayer life has changed DRAMATICALLY! I have noticed quite a bit of fruit through the obedience of spending time with the Lord each day. It's practically unbelievable and a leader's dream to see what's going on here in Cofradia! God bless you brother and I'll be praying for you!

The Silbermans said...

I was wrong. The book was called, "Prayer That Brings Revival" by the same author.
Steve

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