Friday, April 17, 2009

I have been convicted recently regarding my prayer life. I think all Christians face this periodically. And though all Christians do pray, we all acknowledge that we don't pray enough. It's painfully convicting to read through the Scriptures, do an in-depth study of the prayers therein, and then compare them with our own prayers. Most of the time, this leads to the conclusion that our prayers are very man-centered (anthropocentric) rather than God-centered (theocentric). How disappointing this must be to our great God!

As I was talking with a man in our church today over lunch, we discussed the utter necessity to persevere in the practice of prayer. We must not give in to the laziness of prayer that so often characterizes our prayers. Why is it that our mid-week prayer services are often the least attended service in the church calendar? Why is it that when we open it up for corporate prayer, very few people pray? And those that leastdo pray, it's usually the women.

Of course, I praise God for the prayers of the women, but where are the men? Where is the male leadership when it comes to this essential discipline in the Christian life? I firmly believe that part of the reason the church is in the current state it's in lies in the sad--albeit true--reality that our men have failed to lead in being fervent prayer warriors in our churches! I've thought on this quite a bit and I think I'm right in this regard.

I believe that a prayerless Christian is a non-Christian. One who claims to have fellowship with God MUST commune and communicate with his God. Consider this thought: the health and vibrancy of your spiritual life may be ascertained by looking in your prayer closet. If you do this, what is the spiritual state of your life? Are you dead already? Are you in critical condition? Are you in ICU? Is the ambulance coming to pick you up already?

Let us take heed to the convicting--yet necessary--words from Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
"When a man is speaking to God he is at his very acme. It is the highest activity of the human soul, and therefore it is at the same time the ultimate test of a man's true spiritual condition. There is nothing that tells the truth about us as Christian people so much as our prayer life. Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer" (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 46).


Anonymous said...

Geoff, you hit the nail on the head. I have made the same observation on public prayer at our church. While I enjoy and appreciate very much the prayers of the women in the congregation, I genuinely believe the men should be setting a good example and showing leadership. Sadly, male leadership is all to often lacking.

Thank you for your excellent reminder.



Anonymous said...

That was a great message...gonna be thinking about that much.

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