Note: This article was originally posted December 7, 2005.
For those of you who think that I just do not get the idea of blogging, you are probably spot on. Articles on prayer will most likely never make the blogging Hall of Fame. In all sincerity, I understand that subject matter such as this is not the best “blog material.” I mean, none of us really disagrees with the fact that prayer is a necessary and an incredibly important part of our lives. Yet I continue to write on the subject for that very reason. We need prayer. While we spend our time debating some much-less-important topics, many times the most important ones (prayer and a true passion for Christ) are ignored in our schedules. Nevertheless, as a word of encouragement and comfort to all: this is the last of the four-part series on prayer.
E.M. Bounds wrote,
This past summer, the students, staff, and faculty at Maranatha Baptist Bible College underwent a difficult transition with the resignation of their president. Tonight, the students begin their year with a revival meeting led by Evangelist Will Galkin. I would like to encourage SI readers to spend time praying for the Maranatha family today.
* * * *
To the Maranatha family, I prayed this prayer for myself and for you today. I trust that the grace of the cross of Christ will be your focus.
The Grace of the Cross
O My Savior,
I thank thee from the depths of my being
for thy wondrous grace and love
in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree.
May thy cross be to me
as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs
as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty
as the brazen serpent that calls forth
the look of faith.
By thy cross crucify my every sin;
Use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;
Make it the ground of all my comfort,
the liveliness of all my duties,
the sum of all thy gospel promises,
the comfort of all thy afflictions,
the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces,
the very essence of my religion;
Note: This two-part article is a chapter from the book Teach As He Taught by Robert Delnay. Published by Moody Press in 1987, the chapter is reprinted by permission.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
The goal of our teaching is to make disciples. To make disciples we must make demands. A veteran missionary was explaining his success in planting several churches: “We have not been afraid to make demands on our converts.” Nor was Jesus.
The question we face is how many such demands we may rightly put upon our disciples. Many of us live with the desire not to put other people to any trouble, and if we want a lot done right, we prefer to do it ourselves. Why be obtrusive? Why be a bother? Is it not more Christlike to do favors than to ask for them, to give rather than to receive?
Well, not always.
Many have observed that Jesus did not do for people what they could do for themselves. He turned the water into wine, but others had to do the pouring. He healed the paralytic, but others had gone to the work of lowering him down into Jesus’ presence. The disciples prepared the Last Supper; only then did Jesus serve the food. He did wash their feet that night, but that was no exception when we consider what a powerful teaching device He made it.
Some of you may remember the letter from Capt. Steve Davies that appeared here a few days ago. He is on his second tour in Iraq. He wants to let you know how your prayers for him have been answered in very specific ways. Great Read! You can reach Steve at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We confess that we are not willing to pay the high cost of discipleship. We try to be as worldly as we think we can get away with. We prefer to squeeze our faith in around the edges of life, rather than to let you stand at the center to control everything we are and have.”
This prayer penned by Phil Ryken is trully must-reading…and must-praying.