Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prayer Fitting

…pray without ceasing.

I Thessalonians 5:17

A few years ago I heard of a church member complaining that too much time was spent praying and studying the Bible during the board of deacons meetings at their church. Because of this spiritual indulgence not enough business got done. It was a sad exposure of what perhaps many more Christians believe—prayer should be done on the fly, used as an opening and closing or perhaps, if not convenient, eliminated altogether.

We know that we should pray. Niggling doubts, however, cause us to disbelieve that it has any affect on our lives or the believing community we call church. Jesus believed in prayer and he committed time to it. And Jesus didn’t have lots of spare time! If we read the gospels with any openness we see that Jesus had a packed schedule with numerous interruptions! Yet repeatedly there is a solid connection between the time Jesus spends in prayer and the affect of his ministry. In choosing deliberate, intentional times of prayer (Mark 1:35) miracles happened. Jesus didn’t just fit prayer into his “schedule.” His life fit into intentionally “scheduled” God conversations.

No wonder Paul carries this encouraging message to the Thessalonians. As new believers they needed the assurance that their conversations with God the Father would be as powerful and life changing as those of Jesus. Prayer can’t be a by-product of our lives, it must be the genuine product. It’s the real article that makes us Jesus followers, allowing us to see miracles.

Without prayer we are merely tailings.

Jesus, forgive me
when I “fit” conversations with you
into my schedule.
I want to make my days
fit into a life of prayer.
Help me become the
genuine product of praying without ceasing.

Amen.

1 comment:

full of hope said...

Praying without ceasing is God's will for our daily lives. I love Paul's instructions to believers that we should, "be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Chirst Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18