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I get the point, I need to PRAY! MORE!

24 Mar

I admit that I am not the most observant person and that I am a slow learner. Sometimes it takes the convergence of several different sources to get my attention and drive home a point. Yesterday was one of those days when God used a bullhorn to say, “Why don’t you talk to me more often?”

Yesterday morning, I was studying Matthew 21:1-22 for a message this week on Palm Sunday. My focus is on verses 12-22 and the events after the triumphal entry. Life is never the same after the King arrives is the main idea I want the congregation to see. The first change Jesus makes is to transform our priorities (verses 12-13). Jesus confronts the religious leaders that they have traded prayer for profit, a relationship with God for rituals. Jesus restores order and returns the temple to its intended purpose–a house of prayer.

In the evening, I read a chapter in Daniel Henderson’s book, Defying gravity: How to survive the storms of pastoral ministry. In chapter 4, “Gauge Two: Spiritual Intimacy,” he speaks of the importance of prayer in developing an intimate relationship with God. He points out that our enemy uses “Weapons of Mass Distraction” to keep us from prayer. “The first priority for unencumbered leadership was prayer. It is clear that this is a profound defense against the Devil’s weapons of mass distraction. This issue of intimacy with God is core to spiritual health and leadership survival.”

I am also reading through J. Kent Edwards’ book, Deep preaching: Creating sermons that go beyond the superficial. In chapter 6, “Take God’s idea into your closet,” the author introduces the concept of “closet work,” the step between studying a passage of Scripture and preparing a sermon. It is in the closet that we pray and listen for the Holy Spirit to teach us and empower us for ministry.

I may be a slow learner, but I don’t need to be whacked with a 2 x 4 to get the point. I think God is telling me to spend more time in prayer.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2010 in Books, Personal growth, Prayer, Preaching, Quotes

 

2 responses to “I get the point, I need to PRAY! MORE!

  1. Mike

    March 26, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Perhaps you could recognize how your every step, every thought, every act is your making some kind of a connection with God. All too often we might think that a quite place, the bible, some soft music, and an intent upon making conversation with God is prayer. It could be, probably is….at least one way of spiritual intimacy…BUT, I would assert that our only true connection with God is knowing how much closer The Father is to us than we give God credit.

    So, I would suggest making an attempt to accept your every move, act, word, or moment is a moment enveloped in the good graces of The One who loves you always. As such you will choose to then love as the Father loves, care as the Lord would want to, and heal as Jesus, himself, claimed we would do as well or even better than he.

    Peace

    AngllHugnU2
    http://www.IM-with-God.com

     
    • wheelsms

      March 26, 2010 at 8:24 am

      There is some truth to what you say that prayer is simply an ongoing conversation with God. Paul’s instruction to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) could certainly indicate a continuous walk and talk with our Father. That type of prayer helps to develop a deeper intimacy and relationship with the Father. But there are also numerous instructions from Jesus, “when you pray” (Matthew 6:5, 6, 7), “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41), and examples from Paul, “remembering you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16), “always in every prayer of mine” (Philippians 1:4), that indicate that prayer is an intentional activity and much more than simply a connection. It is interesting that Jesus, who as the Son of God was closely connected to the Father, still saw the need and made time for the activity of prayer (Mark 1:35; 6:46; John 17; Matthew 26). Pointing out my own need for making time for the intentional activity of prayer was more my intent in this posting.

       

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