About a year ago …
I drafted an article titled “3 Things Every Christian Leader Should Be Praying . . Everyday”, which proved to be one of the most widely read posts at LifeLetter Cafe for the entire year. The article focused on “the what” or “the do” as some might say . . but if you look long enough through scripture, one discovers that while God has clear Kingdom prayer priorities which prove to be life-transforming when embraced, God is even more concerned with our heart and our “approach” to His very throne of grace.
He knows that prayer in and of itself can become a “duty” or “religious chore” if you will . . and that it can become an exercise or discipline where belief can get swallowed up by present challenging circumstances which we easily allow to become “larger” than the very God we are praying to.
God has given …
my wife Cheri and I over the past many months the opportunity to trust and follow Him through a wilderness chapter that we refer to as “a season of broken” or “a season of not”, a topic I have written about in “Field of Broken Dreams” at the Cafe.It is one thing to know what obedience and forward-faith looks like in your head during times of hardship, but it is a whole different matter to come to the realization by God’s grace and Spirit-led conviction that you have allowed yourself to settle for “getting though” instead of seizing each day with a heart of holy expectancy – after all, our God is large and in charge – but He delights in “showing up” most powerfully when we refuse to become obsessed with throwing up Eeyore-like shrugs and instead look to Him with confidence in His relentless goodness and mercy.
Somewhere along the way, I became “that guy” – you know, the one who is more cynically fixated on wondering how and when “the other shoe will drop” instead of wondering how our God who causes “all things to work together for the good” will effect healing, restoration, life-change, deliverance . . this very day.
He has lovingly called me back to “better” instead of “settler” and I would be walking in disobedience if I didn’t take a few heart-felt moments to confess my conviction and my recommitment to Him which has been prompted by verses like Micah 7:7 and Psalm 84:11
”I will look unto the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation:
my God will hear me.”
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
we have done all we can do …
and asked God to do all He can do and still don’t see a change in our present adverse circumstances, God is working powerfully. It is the Prophet Zechariah who re sizes the size of our God when he pointed to the coming Christ as proof that God not only remembers our plight on this earth apart from from Him, but ultimately is committed to restoring all things as the One true Unstoppable Force who is more than resourced enough to eradicate any immovable object that is in our way.
Consider Zechariah 4 where the prophet stated, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’, says the Lord Almighty. ‘What are you, mighty mountain?'”
Even Christ Himself taught the following in Mark 11,
“’Have faith in God’, Jesus answered.
‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain,
‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart
but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours’.”
The bottom line? We as leaders in the Kingdom of God are to be fueled with holy expectation – not just on a “someday soon” scale, but in the moment, the here and now . . the every day.
No wonder God provided manna that couldn’t be stored – He wanted to be known as the God who eclipses our greatest fears.
No wonder Jesus instructed us to ask the Father for “our daily bread” – He wanted to be known as the God who can be trusted in this present hour.
No wonder Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, reminded us that the Lord’s compassion’s never fail but are instead new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) – he knew that God wanted to known as the One true faithful God – not one day escapes His notice nor is any day void of His sure power and provision.
how are you praying today?
I can tell you how a few folks at Henderson Hill Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma are approaching the throne of grace these days. In the words of their Pastor, Dennis Newkirk,
“After nearly three years of suffering from Eosinophilic Gastritis, my wife Marcia was near death. She had lost a significant amount of her body weight and doctors could find no medical solution. They had only succeeded at finding medication that help somewhat but worsened her condition in other ways.
Finally, after exhausting all local options, we made an appointment for her to be seen at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. I explained the problem to the church as we set off for Minnesota. They prayed corporately for her and in many small groups.
Something strange occurred the night before her first appointment; she awakened and said she was in absolutely no pain, for the first time in three years. She ate a little breakfast without pain. The doctors performed extensive tests and proved the disease that was destroying her life was healed. They had no explanation other than it was a miracle.”
Some of God’s most powerful work in the hearts of people is done through healing . . and some is done through suffering, but in either case never doubt His presence and power . . and remember, there is one way every Christian leader should be praying . . everyday.
How is God encouraging you today?