Monday, January 12, 2009

this week: ABIDE

We're back from a terrific family vacation and ready to charge into a new year. It's prayer week at Grace. Hope you're setting aside some extra time to pray with your nuclear family and others in the Grace family.

Each morning at 6:30 and afternoon at 12:00 noon the pastoral staff are facilitating times of prayer in the Fireside Room. Growth Groups are kicking their quarter off with a prayer focus this week as well and don't forget Drawing Near, our ongoing weekly prayer meeting every Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM.

Even for me as a pastor, I want to be the first to admit that prayer is hard. It's just so easy to neglect it in our non-stop, go-go-go world. I realize it's just not going to happen unless I schedule it and prioritize it. At the same time, prayer is so vital. Not only does prayer change the world because God has ordained to work through the prayers of His people, but as Pastor Steve reminded us on Sunday, this is part of how we abide in Jesus, Our Vine.

Why would we neglect to talk to our Creator and Savior, when He invites us to come to Him? Yet we do. . . . it's crazy.

I think sometimes our past failure in the area of prayers can be a barrier to our prayers today. This misses grace and is opposed to the Gospel. His mercies are new every morning. Let's not be bound to the past, but begin again today. Today is a new opportunity to come to Him.

I'll see you along the way . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prayer is tuff for me too Pastor Tim and God has been after me for some time now about it. So my New Years resolution is to work out (by grace) an improved prayer-life. For the last two weeks, I’ve just been crying out to God to help me bear fruit. I thank God for your timely and encouraging words.

I watched a killer sermon John Piper preached in Dec2008 in regard to prayer. In it, he earnestly exhorts his flock pray more in 2009. It’s called, “Put in the Fire for the Sake of Prayer.” He preaches from these three texts:

John 14:13-14: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

John 15:7-8, 16: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples . . . . You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

John 16:23-24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

He calls prayer, “A Wartime Walkie-Talkie” (Love it!). Here’s a snip-it from the sermon; “This is where I get the image that prayer is a wartime walkie-talkie, not a domestic intercom. It exists for advancing the mission, not for calling the butler to turn up the thermostat. Not that God is opposed to practical, nitty-gritty daily prayers. He simply wants all of them to relate to the mission of your life—that his name be glorified, that people live for fruitful ministry.”

What a killer picture of prayer! At the end he provides some very practical suggestions. It’s an excellent sermon. Here’s the link to it. God bless you brother.

allen peek