Monday, December 29, 2014

2015: The Year of Prayer

There is something going on. It's a very good thing.

Sparked by an idea yesterday I'm sure has been germinating in my heart for awhile - I decided to make and post this meme to Facebook:

 It is based on Jesus' statement in Matthew 7:13, You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

Later Jesus calls Himself the gate in John 10:9 and ultimately declaring He is the (only) Way, the (only) Truth and the (only true) Life in John 14:6.  Pretty bold commentary to have to dismiss.  He was either a liar, a lunatic or the Lord.  Take your pick!

The picture in this meme is a street in Urbino, Italy.  I took it in 2013 for no particular reason, other than it was a cool.  Yet, as I was thinking yesterday morning about what 2015 would mean for me, the Lord reminded me of the above verses and how I had a good descriptive shot of what He meant when He said those words.  Along with the meme I wrote,

I want to go to my next level of faith, with 2015 seeing answers to prayer like never before! I know it is the best way to go, even if it is the harder, more narrow way. Jesus is the way and praising Him never fails to reveal how He is working. Maybe this is your New Year's Challenge.

The way of Christ is tight-fitting.  It is not meant to be loose or lax.  It doesn't look like what the rest of the world is doing.  These clothes feel different, meant to fit us like a glove, literally keeping us on the straight and narrow road of conformation to His image (the one we were created in).  

The only way to stay true to that - for the clothes to fit so to speak - is to remember we are not obligated to be like our old worldly selves any longer.  We aren't meant to think, reason or respond like everyone else.  (Romans 8:1-17) The best way to remember we have different options than what seems in prayer.

By prayer - I mean consistent communication with God.  It doesn't have to always be out loud, on your face or hands-raised-in-worship; at any particular time of day.  Anything thought or felt in His direction at any time, for me, counts as prayer.  Remember, too, there is prayer that is about listening, more than speaking.

There are no limits on how to pray - song, silence, early morning, late at night, reading the Bible or Christian books; praising God, crying out to Him; dreaming, awake.  You name it, He will take our expressions of faith.  He even takes the expressions we don't do well - making them acceptable via the Holy Spirit's intercession (Rom 8:26).

The challenge I sent out is simple: in 2015 - pray more.  I want (and want for you too) the type of prayer life the Apostle Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 11:28-29: Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

For 2015 to be THE YEAR OF PRAYER, we must engage with Our Father first, letting Him heal our brokenness; restore our lack of faith; redeem the mistakes we've made.  We are to be honest with Him and let Him be honest with us.

Going farther, we must pray (and be honest) with each other.  We must feel the daily pressure of concern for the Body of Christ - locally and globally.  We must work to repair the disconnect in our denominations.  We've got to pray for strength for those who feel weak and exhort those led into sin back into the way of righteousness.

The key to this (and everything else) is love.  Prayer is love thought, spoke, sung, written, felt and done with our hands and feet.  Prayer is the deepest expression of care for God, ourselves and others.

Prayer is the way to stay on The Way.  It is the GPS system that will guide us along the narrow way.  Prayer is the main thing.  Let's keep the main thing the main thing.

I challenge you to join me in making 2015 the year of prayer.  More prayer, more connection, more love.  Let's walk this narrow path together, friends.  I hope you will join me!

Bookmark and share out this page.  Retweet or repost.  Use the hashtag #2015yearofprayer.  Write your comments and document your prayer experiences on your own social media sites.

I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do when we take His command to abide in Him seriously!  What an exciting year this will be!

1 comment:

Janice and James said...

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8

Draw me nearer, nearer precious Lord..........

Love you!! Praising and Praying!!