Monday, April 19, 2010

Where are the Pray-ers?

I was browsing through an old book of Leonard Ravenhill's today and came across this statement:

"We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere."

Oh how our hearts should be gripped by prayer. I have heard prayer described as the invitation into the realm of impossibility. It is altogether sad that many Christians never come to understand the importance of prayer. Prayer to the Christian is like fuel to the car. Without fuel, a car cannot go anywhere. Without prayer, the Christian can never grow. Prayer is life to the Christian, it is our very vitality. If there is ever a time that Christians need to return to prayer, it is now.

Jesus did not spill His blood so that converts can be part of a weak, pacifistic, anemic, social club known as "church." Jesus died so that converts can become disciples and embody the very meaning of church in order to redeem the earth.

When will we learn that going to a building twice a week is not enough? Instead of trying to ease our conscience about the sin in our life why not get the sin out! Ravenhill is known also to have said, "A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning." We will never rise to our full potential as Christians if we never pray! In Genesis when Jacob desired a change in his life he had to wrestle with God. If Jacob had quit and given up when the angel of God first touched his hip, then he would have never experienced the change that made him Israel. Are you in need of change? Then pray. Are you sick? Then pray. Are you depressed? Then pray. Are you fearful? Then pray. Are you worried? Then pray. Do you have need? Then pray. Do you have lack? Then pray. Are you hopeless? Then pray. Pray, pray, pray! And when you are done, PRAY!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We all need a "Quiet Place."

When was the last time you had to stop what you were doing in order to take some time alone to regain your focus? Or how often do you hear someone say, "I just need some peace and quiet?"

I am often amazed at how many things there are in life to steal our focus. We live in a time where almost everything that is created is designed to get our attention on some level or another. In fact, just recently I read an article about a State Highway Department that was trying to get a law passed making it illegal to have billboards beside roadways. The Highway Dept. had come to the conclusion that modern-day billboards positioned beside roadways had become too distracting to drivers because of their appeal. They argued that the billboards, with all of their graphics and glamour, were apt to draw the attention of the driver away from the road and to the advertisement of the billboard.

When I read this, I couldn't help but to compare it the Christian's life. Jesus is clear in Matthew's Gospel that straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to everlasting life. The enemy would love nothing more than to detour a Christian in their walk with Christ. As believers we must not be so absurd as to think that just because we are on the "straight and narrow" that we are immune to Satan's "billboards." I believe this is why it is vital to ensure that we have a "quiet place" where we can meet with the Lord.

Let me help you --- a quiet place is not your living room with the TV on, nor is it your vehicle with the stereo cranking full blast and it definitely isn't the bedroom with a cell phone ringing and beeping non-stop. A quiet place is simply that---quiet. When you study the life of Jesus often times you will find that He withdraws Himself from crowds and clutter to find a place where He can meet with God without distraction.

Now imagine living in the time of Jesus - where compared to our time, distractions are at a minimum, but still yet Jesus deems it important to have time alone with His Heavenly Father. How much more in this day and age should we assure that we are taking time to meet with Him in a quiet place?

I urge you to evaluate your day and ask yourself, "When did I meet with God...where was my quiet place?" Friend, if you realize that you have not been having a personal time with the Lord where there are no distractions then I challenge you to find time. Some people may find that by getting up an extra hour early in the mornings or staying up late an extra hour at night will give you that personal time. Whatever you decide, I know that you will not regret it. Be Blessed!