For the most part, I think prayer is comfortable for me. It’s mystical, it’s personal and it’s powerful. It’s part of a discipline to seek God and to be in communion. I have times of prayer set aside – like the morning, before meals, at church, and at bedtime. I’m grateful for this heritage in which I grew up.
I read a devotional book today from Dennis Kinlaw who said “As he gets older, he’s realizing the most important thing any Christian can do is to pray – to intercede.” A couple weeks ago, I attended the New Room Conference, I was reminded the heart of God hears the desperate cries and pleas of his people.
I have to say, I’m not sure if I’m desperate when I pray. It seems to be more of a holy containment.
This morning, I read a verse from Isaiah 43…
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland….Yet you have not called on me, you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel. Isaiah 43:18,19, 22
You have not called on me. You have not wearied yourself for me.
I weary myself on many fronts – schedules, ministry opportunities, computer screen time for the church and Harvest, family fun, driving around, activities, projects, and the list goes on.
But I can’t recall the last time I wearied myself in calling on God. I can’t remember the last time I emptied myself in prayer. I know I have fallen asleep praying many times. But I’m talking about investing, setting aside, praying until our hearts are in line with God’s heart kind of prayer.
It’s been noted that no great revival has ever come that hasn’t begun in small, quiet, humble and earnest prayer.
It may be conviction, it may be desperation, or it may be my age. But, I’m beginning to agree with Dr. Kinlaw and many other saints. The best thing I can do is pray. It’s the thing I must do.
To begin, I have set aside each Wednesday in October as a prayer focus day. Specifically, I’m committing to pray each Wednesday evening in October at 6:30 pm in room 161-163 at Troy United Methodist Church (it’s the room near the kitchen). If you’ re in the area, you’re invited.
I’m praying specifically this month for the souls of kids and students in our culture and in our church. I’m also praying for their families, their pastors and their ministry leaders. I’m praying for renewal and revival in the church and for Harvest Ministry as we seek to serve.
I’m praying that God’s Holy Spirit will invade a generation of calendar stuffed, over scheduled, under-committed, small visioned, phone connected, inward focused, hyper extended, individualistic, fearful, people like me. Crying out to you Lord that you will help us to love you more than anything else and that we would be your people – your church in the world around us. – Tim Price