Posted by: pastortomvabeach | June 6, 2017

Thought for the Week June 11, 2017

It seems like forever since I’ve written. Pastor Doug has been covering for me during my two week vacation, my one week recovery from vacation, and the trying last week when my dear wife, Lilia, was hospitalized twice. The first time was planned, as she had a procedure to bypass a brain aneurysm. The second time came a few days after coming home when she developed a fever. Praise God, the fever was not a sign of infection and she is now home and doing quite well. So I get to write again. Thanks, Pastor Doug, for keeping everyone in the loop.

I had been presenting Christian Chapel’s core values. So far I’ve covered that we are Christ-centered, people-focused, relational, and authentic. The next value we call aspirational, which means that we believe this is a most important value but we don’t think we are fully there and we are doing everything we can to get there.

This value is that we are prayer-empowered. This means that we will actively create a culture of prayer because we know that we can do nothing apart from God’s supernatural help and guidance. If there is anything a church needs to survive in a world that rejects God and to succeed in promulgating the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is prayer.

Paul wrote in I Timothy 2:1-4, First of all…I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life…This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Did you catch the part where Paul says, first of all? This says that we should give preeminence, priority, or our main concern to prayer. This prayer is for all people, not only our families, and for government leaders, because that is what results in a lifestyle that is conducive to bringing people to Christ. And it pleases God!

Jesus is our example. He only had three years to prepare His followers to embark upon the greatest mission every attempted, spreading the gospel around the world. He had to get the message across to them while serving multitudes of people every day. Despite all that was going on, He regularly took time to seek His Father in prayer. When the hardest things were happening, He spent extra time with the Father.

The disciples in Acts made prayer the engine for the fledgling church. When the Holy Spirit fell, they were together praying (Acts 2). When the religious leaders forbade them from preaching, threatening jail or worse, they called the church to pray (Acts 4). When the need arose for deacons to be appointed they prayed (Acts 6). When Paul was called to be a missionary, they were together “ministering to the Lord” (Acts 13). Every major event and turning point was bathed in prayer. In addition, the community of believers regularly participated together in prayer (Acts 2:42).

Our fervent desire is to create a culture in our church where we pray before we serve, where we pray while we serve, and where we pray and thank God that we have been able to serve. We want to encourage anyone who is part of Christian Chapel that they can and should pray. When someone is in need, stop and pray. When life gets exciting or distressing, stop and pray. When you hear that someone is hurting, stop and pray with them.
As I mentioned, this value is aspirational. That means we don’t think we’re there yet but we have seen many hopeful signs. It’s not unusual before, during, or after our gatherings to see two or more people together praying for and with each other. May I say, keep it up! We need the power and presence of the Lord in whatever we do and, for some reason, He has given us the privilege of working with Him to carry out His will here on earth through prayer.

Will you take a minute, as you read this, to ask the Lord to make prayer one of your top values? Guess what? By doing that you prayed. Now, keep it up. Pray alone. Pray with your families. Pray with people at church. Pray with those who are apart from Christ. When it’s time to pray, show up. We will become a praying church! And that will please God. Just a thought.

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