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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Prayer Seems Like Work

It is no secret that the Church of America has largely lost its power to make a difference. The reason is simple... the power of God found in prayer is forfeited for the pleasures of a season. Don't take me wrong, not all of these "pleasures" are sinful in & of themselves. They could be as simple as Times of Rest, Family Time, Recreational Time, Learning Time (education), etc... However, these items must find their Appropriate place at the foot of the Cross (submitted to Christ).

While the Pursuit of Happiness (Pleasure) is the right of every American, followers of Christ have a higher standard. When Jesus said, "Take up YOUR cross and follow me," He was speaking of a life of sacrifice, commitment and devotion. These words of Jesus take us much further than reducing a Christian's commitment to Sunday morning attendance. Christ's call to "come & follow Him," engages us in an epic battle of the ages that involves the souls of men and women, boys and girls. The New Testament speaks very frankly about this spiritual battle, and much of this work is done on our knees in prayer.

There is a common misconception I have discovered in the 21st century Church. The Misconception: PRAYER SHOULDN'T FEEL LIKE WORK. While prayer is certainly based on a relationship, prayer is a Christians most important weapon and strategy to a victorious life. So the next time Prayer feels like Work, remember IT IS. It is your work of a lifetime. Recall the words in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5,

"The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ." (The Message)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Purpose of Prayer continued...

Sunday we studied the Purpose of Prayer from Matthew 6. We discovered that the 2-fold purpose of prayer is Relationship & Results. This is an extended thought concerning what this actually looks like.

RELATIONSHIP: Our relationship with the Lord of the Universe transforms us, not Him. He is already complete, we are not. This is why we move from "glory to glory". We are being transformed into His image. Below are 3 areas this occurs:

1- His Heart becomes our heart
2- His Mind becomes our mind
3- His Will becomes our will

RESULTS, The results from prayer (beyond the transformation of us) release to us, what belongs to God. When we learn to pray and relate with God appropriately, the result is God's intervention in our lives and circumstances. He release His answers TO US and THROUGH US.
1- He Release His Power
2- He Release His Provision
3- He Release His Plans

Sunday we will continue this Summer Series focused on the privilege of prayer, but don't wait until then... start today... Pray Right Now!!!