Monday, March 24, 2008

Prayer: A Holy Occupation

Mike and I are at a "Renew: Marriage and Leadership Retreat" offered by the Soderquist Center for clergy and spouses. Since I am not taking the time at this point to come up with something brilliant of my own, I would like to share with you a thought by Oswald Chambers that was given to us today.

"The job of every Christian is to pray. Plain and simple. Yet we want to do more than simply pray. We want to do something important for God; we want to be someone important to Him. We want to build; we want to mobilize; we want to show our strength and exert our influence. Prayer seems like such a small thing to do -- next to nothing at all in fact.

But that's not what Jesus said. To Him prayer is everything; it's a duty as well as a priveledge, a right as well as a responsibility.

We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but Jesus wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend time doing something that will get immediate results. We don't want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of 'good time' is seldom in sync with ours.

And so we try to help God along. Many times we even try to answer our own prayers. We have the idea that more people will become Christians if we can make God look better to them. So we try to convice them of God's generosity by proving that He answers prayer. If we can just help God spruce up His image a little, we can get more people on His side. And that's what He wants us to do, right?

Wrong. He wants us to pray. Always and about everything. During times of joy as well as sorrow. He wants us to talk to Him, not about Him. He even wants us to talk to Him about unbelievers before we talk to unbelievers about Him.

Prayer is not just an exercise routine God has us on; it's our business, our only business. Prayer is our holy occupation. Plain and simple."

I believe that we tend to want to be more a people of action than of prayer. Sounds a little Judas Iscariot-ish. If you believe that Judas betrayed Jesus to try to force Jesus into showing his power, then Judas wanted to see Jesus in action, rather than to wait on God's time or to go along with God's plan.

Also, I know many people who are worried about others for a variety of reasons, and although they say they will pray for those people, I think they feel better bringing cassaroles to the troubled, or trying to convince the unbelievers by logic. Oh, how we need prayer!

1 comment:

Rev. Jeremy Smith said...


My day is better for reading it. Thanks Sonja!