Monday, July 18, 2011
During my personal devotions, I have been reading the "Fresh" series by Jim Cymbala. These include Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Fresh Faith, and Fresh Power. The overarching theme in these books is the church's need to humble itself to the Holy Spirit's control through prayer. Through the reading of these books, I have been convicted regarding my prayer life. My personal prayer life is one that many times, consists of a wish/to-do list. It goes something like this, Dear Lord, thank you for this day. I pray for work today that it will go smoothly with little drama. I pray that I would be able to get done with everything that I need to do today. I pray that I won't come across any difficult people and that only good things would happen. Amen." So that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but my happiness is basically my focus in prayer. Although this series of books focuses more on the church and is written with a slant to pastors, I have learned and been reminded of quite a bit. So, here I am in the midst of reading these books, I'm convicted about my own prayer life, I'm convicted about not being as involved in the prayer ministries available at my church, and then we go to visit my in-laws for the weekend and the title of the message at their church on Sunday was.....(drum roll please)..... Prayer. Some people would say it is a coincidence. I beg to differ...and I beg you to indulge me as I continue telling about the sermon, because I think you'll agree that this was a bit more than coincidence once you learn more of the details. It had been announced that a group was traveling to New York City that afternoon for several days. I assumed they were going on a missions trip, but they were actually going to New York City to attend the Tuesday night prayer meeting at the Brooklyn Tabernacle who's pastor is Jim Cymbala. They were also going to meet with several church leaders at Brooklyn Tabernacle to learn about how prayer has made a major impact on their church and community. The pastor talked about the importance of prayer and how prayer is what will radically change a church. Prayer is what will radically change a person's heart. Can you see why I would not see this as a coincidence? All of this is what I have been convicted about. I truly was overwhelmed. I'm still not sure what God is trying to teach me through this, but I am going to look into getting more involved with the prayer ministries at our church and also want to be one who prays the way God wants me to pray.