bits from bob....

Upon Whom Do We Depend?

by Robert J. Young, D.Min.
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Because our world places a heavy emphasis on personal ability, one of the great challenges of Christian service is letting God shape us for ministry. If spiritual character is first, a heart of prayer is a close second. Prayer is the reflection of your heart. "The absence of prayer is testimony to your ability; the presence of prayer is testimony to God's ability."

A major problem with prayer is prayer abuse. Some pray prayers centered on self and self-righteousness, as the Pharisee did (Luke 18). Others pray with animosity and vengeance. Many ask solely for themselves (James 4). Prayer is not a wish list. Prayer must not be selfish. Prayer is relationship. In prayer we learn God's will, God's secrets. "Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises." One does not fall in love in a crowd. One finds love in the time alone with the one loved. Prayer is an indicator of our love for God. Do you want to be with him? To hear him? To know him?

.When prayer does not receive first priority, life becomes difficult. Meditation is the beginning of creativity. Quiet reflection and deep relationship with God rejuvenates with new ideas, new perspectives, new hope, new faith. Strength in prayer gives moral strength to character. Our spiritual hearts are sharpened. Prayer is the benchmark of character with leads to action. Prayer moves the arm of God and the motivates the armies of God.

Some Christians' public prayers reflect spiritual anemia. The absence of personal, daily prayer is obvious. Because prayer produces intimacy, the absence of prayer distances. You become intimate with the one to whom you pray, for whom you pray, and with whom you pray. Our families will strengthen spiritually when we pray more diligently.

Prayer brings boldness to our lives. Prayer enables. The power of prayer is not limited by time or space. Prayers that reach heaven can reach around the world.

Prayer is not natural. The natural man is not given to prayer except in crisis. Initially, our lives are not spiritual but natural, and so it is with prayer. The spiritual man puts the spiritual life first. The mark of a spiritually potent person is prayer. Prayer produces spiritual muscle.

Today, pray. Run to the heart of God, not from him. Share your heart. You may be sound in willpower, physical strength, moral fiber and mental toughness, but vibrancy in prayer is more to be desired. "The absence of prayer is testimony to your ability. The presence of prayer is testimony to God's ability."

Prayer is an important step toward letting God shape you for his ministry. Prayer signifies a worshipful heart. We encourage you to join in worship wholeheartedly today as we focus on prayer and allow God to shape us for ministry. As we worship today, may each seek God's presence in our lives. May we find relationship and power and love.

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Last updated February 21, 2001.