Thursday, 5/7/20 – Discipleship – Prayer (& COVID-19)

Prayer (& COVID-19)

alone calm faith light

What role does prayer have regarding end time evils prophecied to come upon the earth?

Very much indeed. We ought not think the hand of God cannot be influenced in as yet by us unexperienced events prophesied to occur. God and time are unique realities. God Who knows all time, knows also all prayers. We who know only the moments of time within our individual experience view prayers as past, present or future. But God knows them all, and, from our perspective, was, is, and will be moved by them.

In fact, Christ told us to pray.

standing man in blue dress shirt praying

Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.” we read in Matthew 24:20, and in v. 22 “…for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Shortened no doubt from something previously intended, and why? Most likely because of the prayers of the faithful.

In Luke we are urged, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-35, 36).

woman in a colorful knitted shirt and gray headwear

Peter also speaks to our obligation of end-times prayer: “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” (1 Peter 4:7 ).

The March 26, 2020 edition of Christianity Today carried an item entitled “20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic,” by Jen Pollock Michel. This serves as an excellent guide to our prayers amid the current COVID-19 crisis. I have condensed the items of this list here:

Pray…

1. For the sick and infected.
2. For our vulnerable populations.
3. For the young and the strong to use caution… to help.
4. For our governments’ wise allocation of the necessary resources.
5. For our scientific community seeking an antivirus.
6. For the media to provide up-to-date, accurate information.
7. For consumers of media to find the most helpful information and keep from anxiety and panic.
8. For those who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of physical distancing.
10. For travelers stranded in foreign countries.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world.
12. For workers facing layoffs and financial hardship.
13. For families with young children at home.
14. For working parents who can’t stay home but now require childcare.
15. For those with therapies or treatments that must now be postponed.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions.
17. For pastors and church leaders.
18. For college and university students.
19. For Christians to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel.
20. For frontline health care workers’ safety and health, knowledge re treatment and protocols, their clear-mindedness, peace of mind, compassion and supplies.

Lord, help us to be found faithful! In Jesus’s Name.

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 3/5/20 – Discipleship – Prayer

Prayer – you have His full attention

photo of people near computer

As I opened our service this past Sunday morning I made reference to God’s attentiveness to our prayers. I contrasted the experience of speaking to someone deeply engaged in their cell phone with the experience of speaking to someone who has put down whatever they may have been doing, leans forward gives you full eye contact, and responds to your words with verbal affirmations or nods. I cited from Peter (who was citing from the Psalms,) “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer.”*

In his book Prayer – Does it Make Any Difference? author Philip Yancey adds, “We need not bang a drum or bring animal sacrifices to get Gods full attention; we already have it.”

“Talk to me,” pleads our Savior, Father, Brother and Lord!

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Why should we pray? If God is all powerful, all loving, all knowing, what is the point? Can’t He… Won’t He… just do what’s best for us whether we ask Him to or not?

When we ask questions like these we miss the point! Prayer is not about transaction, it is not about asking and getting. Prayer is about relationship. Yancey summarizes, “Though my needs may drive me to prayer, there I come face-to-face with my greatest need: an encounter with God’s Own self.”

man tattooed praying

Relationship-based praying is conversation. You might not ask anything of God at all, or you might. Or, He may have something to ask of you… or He may not. Relationship-based conversing does not wonder such things. Relationship-based conversing is in it for the pleasure of the good company of the conversers; it is about mutual exchange and deepening intimacy. Relationship-based prayer, notes Yancey, “may be the most freedom-enhancing way of connecting to a God whose vantage point we can never achieve and can hardly imagine.”

What is incomprehensible about God to our minds is better apprehended by our hearts.

“Talk to me,” pleads our Savior, Father, Brother and Lord!

Relationship. That’s all God wants. That’s all God ever wanted.

What do you want?

Press on…

* (1 Pet. 3:12; Ps. 34:15).

20190522_065320Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to know how to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.