Monday, January 12, 2009

working the puzzle

Prayer is a unique opportunity to be in communion with our Lord. It provides us with the blessing of seeing His hand move. I know we don't always get the answers we want, but that never means He is not responding.

I have seen God move mightily to our requests on the mission field. I have so many stories of the same.

While prayer effects change in this country as well, it is a primary tool that we often postpone, citing internally that we will do it later, when in reality, later always seems full in its own occupation.

The end result is that we do not spend time with Him as we should.

A few years ago, I went with a leadership team from my church, to New York City. While there, we purposed to visit Brooklyn Tabernacle. We visited on Sunday morning, and were very moved at the power and presence of the Lord in that service.

We decided to return for their prayer meeting on Tuesday evening. I have never seen anything like what we experienced in my life.

People arrived 2 hours early and stood in line at locked doors waiting to go inside to PRAY!

We were there in March and the weather was not conducive to standing outside in line.

Those people understand the power of God and have taken seriously the Scripture in Chronicles, "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray"...

There were so many people that many had to audit the experience from an overflow room where the service was on a screen. I must correct myself, they did not audit this experience, they entered into prayer. A full out assault on the throne of grace to affect change in the world around them.

Contrast that with what happened last night at a local church here in the supposed "buckle of the Bible belt."

They have an upcoming "revival" planned. It is to begin next week. The pastor implored his body to show up for the evening prayer time, which was not the usual menu for this church.

They conduct two services on Sunday morning, and generally, both are relatively full.

He prepared an overflow room in hopes of an incredible turn out from this group of believers. He even promoted that there would be an overflow room.

You can guess what happened. The sanctuary was far from full.

The prayer time was incredible! The presence of the Lord was thick and moved those in attendance, yet many chose other "more important things" over coming to pray.

Schedules often don't allow us such luxuries at time with the Lord. Apparently we forget to schedule Him in, when we are setting up our weekly agendas.

This is a body that is often cold an unmoved on Sunday mornings. The pastor preaches dynamic sermons in demonstrated power, to those who sit tight and refuse to allow God to do more than quicken their pulse.

I confess, I am often one who has sat in front of the television when important things were happening in my own church body. I have a list of justifications for why I don't need to be there. I practice them in my head, just in case I have to give an account to someone of why my couch and TV are more important than what God may be doing in my church home.

With all of this in mind, it is interesting to note, that we always find time for the things that are important to us.

In the garden, Jesus begged Peter, James and John to pray with Him. With agendas "full," and spiritual appetites "sated," they chose to accompany Him, but to sleep over spending that intimate time in prayer.

How often do we do likewise?

The result is we often invest what little time we do spend in prayer, seeking His forgiveness, rather than affecting change in the lives of those around us. Once again, furthering our own agendas, but doing little to follow Him in obedience.

When will we pray?

If we are to be in constant prayer as 1 Thes teaches, then we are going to have to shut out the clamor of worldly music and frustrating, posing schedules which claim to be full, but in reality are more perhaps..."full of it!"



At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Full of it and guilty here. Lord help me to change! \0/

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right...expecting answers to half-hearted prayers and then questioning why things don't go our way (or at least, my way). The Spirit has been trying to penetrate my heart with this truth, and as always, your post was another avenue He took. Oh, to be used so mightily!

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for that


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