PRAYER: The Great Connector/ CHURCH: Where God's People Gather
📝Pray for people who dislike you, and pray for people you dislike. Prayer without effort will be insincere. Effort without prayer will be ineffective.😘
One day the disciples requested of Jesus: "Teach us to pray.". Jesus responded by giving them-and us-a marvelous model of prayer. What is so powerful about the Lord's Prayer, as it is known, is its utter simplicity
Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don't let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (MATTHEW 6:9-13 NLT)
The key to prayer is to start simply and quietly. That's the idea behind Jesus' model prayer. We need a touchstone, a place to start. Then, as we get to know God better, we will feel comfortable sharing the most intimate details of our lives with Him.
If the Bible is God talking to us, then prayer is us talking to God. It's the primary way of connecting to the infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. Edward Ferrell wrote that "without prayer, there is no way, no truth, no life." Without prayer, you can never get close to God.
Try it. Start small. Start with the small stuff in your life. Talk to God about it in a quite, isolated place where your self-consciousness isn't an issue. As you continue daily, your capacity for prayer will grow larger. That's because prayer is like a muscle. If you exercise it regularly, your prayer muscle gain strength and your appreciation for God will grow immeasurably. On the other hand, if you don't use it, your prayer muscle will shrivel up and your capacity for God will shrink. And in those times of crisis when you suddenly feel compelled to pray, it will be a painful experience.
✅The good news is that God doesn't put conditions on your prayer life. His feelings don't get hurt when you don't pray. But when you do, He connects with you in a powerful way. Try it today. Try it right now. Talk to God. He's listening.❤
Live humbly and pray likewise.😊
📝Don't leave the sermon at church. Teach a Sunday School at least once a year.
Ever so innocently, we've let our English language to distort the meaning of the word church. Sometimes, that word means a place (as in "I left my Bible at church"). Other times, it refers to an activity (as in "What time does church start?") Often church is used to describe an institution (as in "His behavior was frowned upon by the church"). While such definitions are appropriate, they miss the meaning of what church is all about.
The essence of church is your Christian family-those people around the world who follow Christ and commit themselves to Him and to each other. When the apostle Paul wrote about the church, he wasn't talking about a building, an institution, or an activity. For Paul, the expression of church meant a personal relationship among Christian. He most often compared the church to a human body.
In a body, all parts and details are important, and they must function in harmony:
If one member of the body is injured or sick, then the entire body suffers.
The members must operate in unison, because if they try to go in opposite directions, they won't get anywhere.
Some members are more visible, while others play a vital role on the inside. But both types are necessary. There are no small parts in the body of Christ.
If every member were the same, the body would look really weird, and it wouldn't function very well. (Just imagine a five-foot, eight-inch ear. Oh Sure, you would have excellent hearing, but try driving a car that way.)
📝The next time you go to Church, don't look at the building or think about the schedule events. Instead, look at the people. Appreciate them for who they are, what they need, and what they contribute to the "body." Then think about yourself. What is your role in the church? How do you fit into the body? Are you making a contribution to the overall health and fitness of the body?
Being part of the church means a lot more than just attending a service on Sunday morning, tossing a few coins in the basket, and shaking the pastor's hand on the way out. Being part of the church involves an interactive relationship between people with Christ as their common bond. With that definition, you can't "walk out of the church" on Sunday morning. You are part of the body all week long.😘
Here's how to make Sunday worship more meaningful: Think of yourself as a participant rather than a spectator.