Effective Prayer

imageIf you go to The Lord in prayer and you come out feeling the exact same way, burdened by the same problems, heavy with a load too big for your shoulders, then all you have done is effectively complained.

Effectively praying puts a few simple principles in place. Confess your sin, pray specifically, believe there is an answer on the way. Most of all leave your burden with the only One who can help you.

Feeling A Little Restless

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Tuck your feet in because I may step on them. There is this teaching going around that we are to rest and not strive for the things of God. The teaching is solid. We are to rest and not strive but what does it mean to rest? A cease from labor? Not quite.

Resting in the Lord is a state of peace, yet sometimes our lives look nothing like that. In fact, we are some seriously busy stressed out folk. Well……..except when it comes to ministry. At that point we are resting.

Start a small group you say? I say, “I’m waiting on the Lord to direct me.”

Come to a prayer meeting you say? I say, “I can pray at home, God knows the needs of others I don’t need to do that.”

Help disciple you say? “No sir! I did my time in 19…..”

Do you realize the 1900’s were over 16 years ago? By now you should be growing moss under your then weary body. Excuses excuses. And dare I say not biblical?

Perhaps the burden for the lost isn’t all that great. Perhaps the great commission doesn’t really pertain to us. For you see, we and our households are safe. So sorry for anyone else.

Or wait a minute.

Could it be that we want the palace living without the work it took to become a kingdom citizen? For you see, there is a process. Or perhaps wilderness living is just where it’s going to stay because to enter into the promise takes work.

We have yet to shed that old slavery mindset. As slaves our lives are dictated by the whims of our Master, and just who is our Master? Well in this mindset I can say for sure it isn’t the Lord Jesus Christ because he gave an order, but you all know that. It’s that sticky little go make disciples verse. It reveals our heart every time.

 

Those That Came Before Us

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I was driving by what we in our town call “The Old Catholic Church”. For some reason I looked at it with fresh eyes. It was build in the 1920’s and was turned into the city’s Arts Council Building not too many years ago. I have entered this beautiful building to see plays, and musicals, and weddings, and galas but today I looked at it with a different perspective.

There once was a dream of building a house of worship there, a building dedicated to the Lord. People put resources together, prayed, and came up with a design. They must have  searched for a location centralized to make a beautiful place for a church service on a Sunday morning. And while I know that a building doesn’t make a church I wonder what those who helped build it would think?

Perhaps my heart was open as I had just received a postcard of a church for sale. Seeing that postcard made me sigh at the thought of another church possibly closing. I have traveled through Europe and seen beautiful cathedrals why does this old Catholic Church move my soul today?

As more and more churches close in America and pastors leave the pulpit by the thousands, perhaps for me, this church stands of a symbol of what we are facing in the future.