Prayer is not an app but the operating system of the Christian life.
I'm fired up about God and how he is answering prayers and is growing our church deeper in prayer through our recent series from the book of Acts (You can go to the sermons tab and check them out)!
And for those who wondered about the statement I made last Sunday, which is also the title of this blog post, no I did not steal it from anyone (I know it's hard to believe, but I do have original ideas from time to time=).
Anyhow, here are two great resources on prayer that I want to highly recommend to you:
First is the book A Praying Life: connecting with God in a distracting world by Paul E. Miller. I am usually skeptical about books on prayer. My motto is: We don't need to read more about praying, we just need to PRAY! But after two people recommended this book to me in the same week, I bought it. And now I would like to strongly encourage you to buy it and read it too! (You can click the book title above and that will take you directly to Amazon.)
Second is a portion of a recent blog post by Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition, most of which comes from Pastor John Piper. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
"But the hard truth is that most Christians don’t pray very much. They pray at meals—unless they’re still stuck in the adolescent stage of calling good habits legalism. They whisper prayers before tough meetings. They say something brief as they crawl into bed. But very few set aside set times to pray alone—and fewer still think it is worth it to meet with others to pray. And we wonder why our faith is weak. And our hope is feeble. And our passion for Christ is small.
The Duty of Prayer
And meanwhile the devil is whispering all over this room: “The pastor is getting legalistic now. He’s starting to use guilt now. He’s getting out the law now.” To which I say, “To hell with the devil and all of his destructive lies. Be free!” Is it true that intentional, regular, disciplined, earnest, Christ-dependent, God-glorifying, joyful prayer is a duty? Do I go to pray with many of you on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., and Wednesday at 5:45 p.m., and Friday at 6:30 a.m., and Saturday at 4:45 p.m., and Sunday at 8:15 a.m. out of duty? Is it a discipline?
You can call it that. It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater. It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers. It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns. It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food. It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water. It’s a duty the way a deaf man puts in his hearing aid. It’s a duty the way a diabetic takes his insulin. It’s a duty the way Pooh Bear looks for honey. It’s a duty the way pirates look for gold.
Means of Grace: Gift of God
I hate the devil, and the way he is killing some of you by persuading you it is legalistic to be as regular in your prayers as you are in your eating and sleeping and Internet use. Do you not see what a sucker he his making out of you? He is laughing up his sleeve at how easy it is to deceive Christians about the importance of prayer.
God has given us means of grace. If we do not use them to their fullest advantage, our complaints against him will not stick. If we don’t eat, we starve. If we don’t drink, we get dehydrated. If we don’t exercise a muscle, it atrophies. If we don’t breathe, we suffocate. And just as there are physical means of life, there are spiritual means of grace."
More in Thoughts from our Pastors
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March 15, 20197 Questions to Ask about the Gray Areas in Your Life
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