Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pray this?

I was reading an article in Leadership Journal the other day and came across this from Jim Cymbala:

"The number one sin in America," he said, "is that its pastors and leaders are not on their knees crying out to God, 'Bring us the drug-addicted, bring us the prostitutes, bring us the destitute, bring us the gang leaders, bring us those with AIDS, bring us the people nobody else wants, whom only you can heal, and let us love them in your name until they are whole.'"

Wow. Makes me ask: Do I have the guts to pray that? Do I even want God to bring us those people? If I don't, what does that say about me? If I do, am I ready for that?

Then, after reading that, I come across this statement from Ed Stezter: We're spending too much time doing the work of the Lord rather than with the Lord of the work.

Ouch, again.

These are just two of the places where God is speaking to me lately about prayer. I'm not sure I pray enough. I'm not sure we pray enough. In the book of Acts, prayer preceded the pouring out of the Spirit. Prayer preceded the explosive growth of the church. Prayer preceded life change.

I need to pray more. We need to pray more. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this except maybe to keep myself accountable and to invite you to partner with me in praying. I'm sure I'll post more thoughts on this later...


At 8:33 AM, May 20, 2009 , Blogger Jaimee Holmes said...

I think even better than "bring them to us" might be "show us how to go to them..." Just a thought. I have a hard time praying... at least with my own words. I pray with the Psalms alot. There aren't alot of real examples of prayer out there... I mean the kind that is not written out and memorized ahead of time, you know the thee and thou and is all very well articulated and meaningless... I don't talk like that and I don't know anyone who does. I'm rambling. I just think prayer is one of the hardest parts of this whole thing... and that's sad since talking with God IS the relationship... I dunno. I guess I could definitely use a "how to" sometime when it comes to prayer.

At 9:44 AM, May 20, 2009 , Blogger Jonathan Everette said...

Great thought.

I also have a hard time praying. This week (I was inspired while at the gym this AM) I am praying, "God make us strong and courageous. Help us to do the right thing, even when it's hard. Teach us how to honor you in every area of our lives."

Praying the Psalms is awesome. I also do that. I usually read 1-5 Psalms a day and make a part of that or the whole thing part of my prayers.

I'm thinking of a series on prayer. I've done one in the past that has been very practical. It comes from the Lord's Prayer passage. We may do that in the early Fall. I'm "praying" about it. :)

At 3:43 PM, June 24, 2009 , Blogger Lydia Anthony said...

Hey I know this is from back in May but I was skimming your blog and thought it was worth comment.

I've really been thinking about the connection between prayer and action too. Especially this bit in Acts:

"In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers...While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off."
(Acts 13:1-2 NIV)

Notice it doesn't say, "And the church leadership had a meeting to decide what they were going to do next (for God). It says they were worshiping God, praying and fasting, and He spoke. Because they were listening.

And then after hearing Him, they prayed and fasted MORE - they saturated their entire action in prayer instead of trusting themselves to remember and follow what He said.

You don't pray enough. We never do. You might as well decide that now and live the rest of your life trying to rectify it.


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