Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Ministry of Praying Is Open to You Today

Flower in my back yard

I have, for decades, been teaching pastors and Christian leaders that, if they do not have significant praying lives, they are inauthentic and irrelevant.

By "significant praying life" I mean this: 

Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16)

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place... He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed... (Luke 22:39-41)

Note the words "often," and "as usual." Habitually, Jesus prayed a lot. Decades ago my reasoning told me I should do the same. I write on my experiences of praying in Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.

I've been praying this morning, using Leonard Ravenhill's Why Revival Tarries to guide me. Here is what I saw today. Ravenhill writes:

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. 
The pulpit can be a shopwindow to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off. 
Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. 
We have many organizers, but few agonizers; 
many players and payers, few pray-ers; 
many singers, few clingers; 
lots of pastors, few wrestlers; 
many fears, few tears; 
much fashion, little passion; 
many interferers, few intercessors;
many writers, but few fighters. 
Failing here, we fail everywhere. 
The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer—the highest ministry of all human offices—is open to all." (p. 25)


My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

I am writing...

How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

Linda and I will then co-write our book on Relationships