Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
"Frankly, many of our churches lack heaven's blessings because they no longer devote the time necessary to prayer. Many churches have abandoned congregational prayer and even the pastoral prayer. When was the last time your pastor and the congregation spent a sustained amount of time in corporate prayer?"
"The prayer life of a typical Western church is anemic at best."
"The weekly evening prayer meeting has gone by the way of the dinosaur or has been replaced by programs. And when we finally get around to praying,we focus on everything but the things of the kingdom."
"Now is the time for pastors and the laity alike to transform their congregations into kingdom-driven churches. A good place to start is with prayer."
R. Alan Streett, Heaven on Earth (Harvest House)
It is okay to post on LOVE2020 site. It was Darrell Guder who said, “Western theology could be characterized as a process of explaining why the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t apply to us.” http://fkm.interchurch.dk/fileadmin/interfkm/konferencer/2006-konfe... And I surmised that this might also explain why the prayer life of a typical Western church is anemic at best.
I also like what Leonard Sweet says, "Too much of western learning in general, and theological education in particular . . .
"gives knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
knowledge of words and ignorance of the Word."
----T. S. Eliot, "Choruses from 'The Rock'"
May we never be ignorant of the Word. For when we trust the Word, we have the rest of Jesus by entering into it. Jesus provided a key when He said, “Learn of me, and you will find rest for your soul.” He did not say learn words about Me, but learn Me, learn My ways, learn to receive from Me.
I was reading John 4 when the Official requested Jesus come to his home because his child was sick and near death. Jesus had chided those her Him for always needing a sign. This man said He wanted Jesus to Come quickly his child's life was on the line. He persisted, be was believing, he was passionate. Desperate times make you focused, and focused on the only one who can heal what's so very broken. I fear we are not desperate enough to get so focused in our prayers.
The man came to jesus because he had heard about Jesus changing water into wine at the Marriage ceremony. He heard Jesus makes all the difference. The west is not hearing all we need is Jesus. Moralistic preaching or Self-help Babble is being Preached and people learn how to control or live with their sin. Jesus Heals, forgives, cleanses, and sets free. Jesus hates sin while loving the sinner!
Those people in John 2, after the fist sign (Water into Wine that saved the Wedding Feast), could not help but "brag on Jesus". The West spends too much time pointing at sin and declaring how bad. We excuse our demeaning speech toward fellow believers. We demand changes from the lost and demand understanding, comfort and the best for ourselves.
Our language and attitudes tell me we are not focused on making sure everyone knows Jesus IS the real answer. Our lack of real focus keeps us from praying with urgency and with the very heart of God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 begins with..."My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then...". When this part become us the rest of the verse begins to come into focus. We do not see ourselves as having any needs, any wicked ways.
It takes time to seek His face. In His presence sin is revealed. We can come humbly or become humiliated and then come. LORD call us to HUMBLY OURSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK YOUR FACE! Show us our sin that we may repent!
The day is coming when we will understand suffering and we will become better focused on our praying. We may once again return to "Pray it through", pray until we receive the answer.
These are the "difficult times" (2 Tim. 3:1) Paul warns about. Yes, our world is full of moralistic Christians who pride themselves on being virtuous and self-help Christians who know how to save themselves with God's help. Both are trapped inside of themselves. So we dare not assume it cannot happen to us. Yet it is in this very environment that our Father has chosen to reveal Christ in us. Even now our purpose is courting our preparation. Let us, therefore, press toward becoming people who fulfill the Lord’s Prayer—“thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”