Sunday, August 29, 2010

Praying together = Praying with Power

Jesus said, "And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them."
(Matthew 18:19-20, TEV)

Are you missing out on the power that can be found by praying with other believers? In Jesus' teaching about prayer, he spoke specifically about praying together. If you're not consistently praying with others, you're missing out on one of the major benefits of being a Christian. If the thought of praying in a group scares you, it's okay to start slowly:

1) For starters, try praying aloud when you're alone, and get used to hearing the sound of your own voice in prayer.

2)Next, find a small group (no more than 5 or 6) friends who want to pray together. You can start your group by briefly (and I do mean briefly) sharing prayer concerns with each other. Then try having everyone simply relax with eyes closed and listen to a worship song on CD in order to center your thoughts on God. Allow a short time period at the end of the song for people to pray either out loud or to themselves, and just be quiet together.

3) After several weeks of using this approach, you may want to move on to one sentence praises and prayers. Remember, it's not the length or the eloquence of the prayer, it's the sincerity that impresses God.

4) Within 4 -6 weeks, you will find your group becoming closer to God and to each other, because nothing binds us together like prayer. You will experience Christ's presence, and His power along with a new level of accountability and fellowship.

Begin this week to move toward the power of praying together!

Good start to the school year
New beginnings

Friendship House fundraising efforts
Open ears for God's call to service
New prayer groups to form

Friday, August 13, 2010

Truth in Love
"Your kingdom is built on what is right and fair. Love and truth are in all you do."
(Psalm 89:14, CEV)

The single most difficult pursuit is truth and love. That sentence is grammatically correct. I know every English teacher would like to pluralize it to read: The most difficult pursuits are those of truth and love. But that's not what I mean to say. Love is a difficult pursuit. Truth is a tough one, too. But put them together, pursue truth and love at the same time and hang on baby, you're in for the ride of your life.

Love in truth. Truth in love. Never one at the expense of the other. Never the embrace of love without the torch of truth. Never the heat of truth without the warmth of love...To pursue both is our singular task as Christians.
~ from The Inspirational Study Bible

Can any of us hope to "speak the truth in love" as we are commanded to do? Not on our own. That's the way Jesus lived and spoke. It's why He could rebuke the sin, while drawing the sinner closer to Him. Pray and ask God to give you the Spirit of Christ. Only He can enable you to be filled with the compassion of love and the clarity of truth at the same time.