Usually when I sit down to write a blog post, I start with the question “what is God teaching me these days?” I’ve always felt that the purpose of my blog isn’t to TEACH you anything, but rather to SHAREwhat God is teaching me.
So usually I look for the most interesting lessons to share – practical things that people enjoy reading about like How I Organize My Time and The One Skill You Need to Make Relationships Last and The Word You’ll Never Hear Me Say in Church.
I generally look for topics that are both interesting and lacking in people’s lives.
Today however, I’m writing about a topic that I don’t think you need to hear about. You don’t need to read about it. You don’t need to hear a sermon about it. In fact, when it comes to this particular topic, I’ll bet you already know all the answers and could spit them out without any help from me.
The lesson God is teaching me these days is about PRAYER – a topic that we talk/read/hear much about, but unfortunately DO very little with.
Because prayer is something that I am not particularly good at and I often struggle to do consistently, God usually sends me a clear message every so often to get me back on track. That message came to me at the end of the summer as I was preparing for the new year and was then confirmed by my father of confession in my most recent visit to him a few days later.
The overarching message can be broken down into three sub-messages.
1) I must become a MAN OF PRAYER
The lesson of prayer starts with me taking personal responsibility for my own prayer life. NO EXCUSES!
No more “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time to pray” – I have exactly the same amount of time as everyone else.
No “I’ll pray in the car” or “I’ll pray during my morning run” talk – those are great things but they are no substitute for a dedicated time of prayer.
And absolutely enough with the “God knows my heart so formal prayer isn’t needed” HOGWASH! That’s merely an excuse that all of us know is borne out of laziness.
I must become a man of prayer and stop making excuses as to why I can’t get there.
2) My family must become a FAMILY OF PRAYER.
If my job is to “train up a child in the way he should go” and “nourish and cherish” my wife as Christ does the Church, what better way to do that than through prayer.
And not just praying FOR THEM, but praying WITH THEM.
If I teach my children how to ride a bike, understand the Pythagorean theorem and obey their elders… but I don’t instill in them a spirit of prayer, then how good a father am I really?
If I take my wife out on dates, buy her expensive presents and fix the dishwasher when it breaks… but I don’t lead her to become a woman of prayer, then how good a husband am I really?
The greatest legacy I can give my children is to teach them to pray. The greatest gift I can give my wife is to lead her in prayer. The greatest accomplishment I can do for my family is to turn us into a family of prayer.
3) My church must become a CHURCH OF PRAYER.
This one’s a no-brainer. The reason the Church exists is to unite people with God – to be the intersection between Creator and creation, humanity and Divinity, heaven and earth.
That is prayer! Prayer is how man unites with God and communicates with God and finds himself in God. So if I’m not helping my church to become a church of prayer, then what the heck am I doing???
I believe that when the church becomes all about prayer, then we won’t hear about so-and-so fighting with so-and-so and refusing to sit next to them in church. We won’t hear about people leaving because they feel unwelcome. We won’t hear about how much money we need to pay the bills or what we need to collect to get a new carpet.
Instead we’ll hear about miracles! The blind finding sight… the dead coming to life… the Name of the Lord being exalted and glorified across the earth!
That’s what I want for my church and the only way to get there is prayer.
So I need to become a MAN of prayer.
My family needs to become a FAMILY of prayer.
And my church needs to become a CHURCH of prayer.
When that happens, then I believe God will become a GOD OF MIRACLES!
I once read that “Without prayer, the best I can do is the best I can do. But with prayer, the best I can do I is the best GOD CAN DO!”
Amen! That’s all I needed to hear. Let us pray.