Friday, April 18, 2008

Committed to Prayer

Committed to the Basics: Part 5

This series has been devoted to identifying those disciplines that need to be part of our lives: both as individuals and in our church families. Just as an athlete can only reach his or her full potential when they are committed to mastering the basics of their game, we can only reach our potential as Christians and as the Church when we are committed to these basic disciplines.

We have noticed that when the church began in the first century and as they tried to mature new believers and make an impact in their culture they devoted themselves to four different disciplines. We find these disciplines in Acts 2:42: 42 They continually devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to times of prayer (ISV). In this one verse we discover the four disciplines, the basic fundamentals, that the early church was devoted to. They were devoted to learning. It was important for them to know God, His purposes, and His ways. They were devoted to fellowship. Life is tough, and we need each other if we are going to make it through, let alone make an impact. They were also devoted to Communion. The Lord’s Supper is the discipline that Jesus gave us to help keep Him at the center of our faith.

The last action the early church devoted themselves to is prayer. Is it any surprise that from the very beginning the church has been praying? These early followers of Jesus were in a hopeless position. Their leaders were nobodies and uneducated. Many of them were away from their homeland opting to stay in Jerusalem rather than return home. They could not meet the challenges of life, which included providing the basic needs, on their own strength. They were dependent on God’s power.

The same is true today, though I wonder how often we recognize it. In a land were we don’t have to worry about basic necessities do feel dependent on God’s power? When we have studied human behavior and having selling down to an art do we believe that we need God’s wisdom rather than man’s research in order to have a healthy growing church? Prayer is a vital part of the church.

Prayer is also more that connecting to God’s power. Prayer also strengthens our relationship with God. I believe that it is through prayer that we really experience the love of God. This is one of Jesus’ teachings on prayer:
7 “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who keeps asking will receive, and the person who keeps searching will find, and the person who keeps knocking will have the door opened. 9 “There isn't a person among you who would give his son a stone if he asked for bread, is there? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he wouldn't give him a snake, would he? 11 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who keep on asking him!” (Matthew 7:7-11; ISV)

Jesus tells us that through the act of praying we experience God’s provision in our lives. Just as a good earthly father provides for the needs of his children, our good Heavenly Father will provide everything that we need for both life and godliness. If we are not praying then we are missing out on experiencing God’s love.

  • Point to Ponder: Prayer is a vital part of the church.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 7:7-11
  • Question to Consider: Is prayer vital to your life?

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