A Praying Church
My prayer life is anemic. This may surprise you. As an elder of the church, many might assume that my prayer life is robust. It is not. It is a land filled with distractions, sinfulness and apathy. In other words, I suck at prayer. I am guessing that your prayer life could use some work too. But God has recently been stirring something in me. He has reminded me of the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. He has reminded me that when Jesus Christ stretched out His arms, and died upon that cross, He not only took upon Himself all of my sin, but He also imparted to me all of His righteousness! We call this the “double imputation”. And He has reminded me that this imputing of His righteousness does not only include how I act, or how much (or little) I read my bible, but it extends to my prayer life too! My standing before God does not rest on the “success” of my prayer life. It rests only on Christ’s righteousness gifted to me. And so I am free to come and talk to my Father as I am, broken, weak, sinful .... and forgiven. And I am free from feeling guilty about my past performance, and my future failures. And you are free too.
Jesus taught us much about how to pray, and He never tells us to learn how to pray, and then start praying. Instead He tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28). That is ME! I am weary and tired and distracted and heavy laden, and Jesus invites me to come to Him anyway! He invites me to come to Him with my distractions, with my apathy, and HE will give me rest. Jesus instructs us to come to Him as children. “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16). Those of you who are blessed to get to spend time with children know how they come to you. They come messy. They are often selfish, and distracted. And they are honest .... brutally honest. This is how we are invited to start praying!
God has been doing a work in me, and has been stirring in me, through the work of His Holy Spirit, an increasing desire to pray and to grow in prayerfulness. And as I grow in prayer, I also desire to see our church grow in prayer. When I look at Redeemer, I see a church filled with men and women who love to read their bibles, and are strong in theology, and I praise God for that. It seems to me that now we are entering a season when God is calling us to immerse ourselves in prayer. We need to again be reminded of the incredible privilege it is to communicate with and listen to and speak with our heavenly Father, and we need to be reminded of the incredible power that prayer wields. We need to remember that entire revivals through which hundreds of thousands of people have been saved, were started by a handful of people, on their knees, crying out for God to save.
We will be posting periodic prayer requests, as well as resources for you to grow in your prayer life. This week, I am asking all of you who are reading this, to please pray that we would become a praying church.
Father, we love and adore you. You are entirely worthy of unceasing prayer and worship. I repent today, that I have spent far too little time pursuing You in prayer, when You spent the life of Your son, pursuing me. I ask you now, today, Father to send Your Holy Spirit, to fill the saints of Redeemer, to give them hearts and minds that long to speak to you, to listen to you, and to worship you, in the splendor of Your Holiness. And I ask you today, to make us a praying church. Amen.