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NATIONAL DAY OF…do I have to pray….AGAIN?

Devotional for Friday, May 5, 2017 with Pastor Jim Lucas

TBT..but make it a few decades of throwback…and what was coming out of my mouth was the question: “Awww Mom, do I have to????” Come on, ‘fess up. You’ve said it too. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve gone through that period of questioning the validity of the task you’ve been asked to do. And why was it always – mom? Why not dad? Maybe we felt like we could ‘get away with it,’ or we could maybe change mom’s mind if we pouted a little bit, moaned, groaned and whinned about the task we’ve been assigned, but in the end?? In the end we did it, right!! You bet. It didn’t kill us. It didn’t even harm us. It was an ok thing, and it was something that helped us ‘grow up.’ OUCH. Growing up had to include those times? You bet. And we’re the better for all those times when mom didn’t let up, and we found ourselves carrying out the task.

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer. It was a fantastic day. I was able to participate in music at a prayer breakfast. What a powerful way to begin the day; to be with other believers praying for various entities/ people groups, etc. I was truly blessed. It did make me wonder how others in our nation were reacting to the day. Was there an enthusiasm? or were they even AWARE that it was a special day to pray? We sure do get it when it’s Valentines, or Christmas, or Thanksgiving, but what about…a special prayer day? A National Day of Prayer? Would the reaction be..”oh please, just move on. We don’t need that!” or a young child reaction of…”wait…do I HAVE TO pray….AGAIN? This is really cutting into MY plans for the day.”

But I rejoice at the Words of scripture: “Pray without ceasing”. (I Thessalonians 5:16). In fact it says along with it to rejoice always. Yes, pray continually. Not as a chore (Do I HAVE TO, mom!) but as a deliberate response of the heart that wants to know the mind of Christ; that loves the way of the Lord, and seeks to please Jesus. This may sound harsh, but I am a preacher 🙂  Saying no to prayer is equivalent to saying no to God; no, I don’t need Your help, Your friendship, Your guidance, and that, my friend is a frightening place in which to live. Prayer is like the air needed to breath. [Ezekiel 37:5]. Prayer is like the engine without which your car won’t go. Prayer is like the automatic dishwasher to get your dishes clean (Oh wait, that’s my kids job!!) LOL Yeah, it’s silly, but you get my point.  God’s point is this: “without prayer, without communication, you can’t build a relationship with Me”. So trust Him, talk to Him. Pray without ceasing. Live a life where you don’t complain about having to spend time with Him, but can’t wait for every moment when you can. Mark 11:24 Jesus talking: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” And in John 14:13  Jesus puts it in complete perspective: “whatever you ask IN MY NAME, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

So we grow up in prayer. We find it doesn’t hurt us, and we’re the better for it. And many times others around us have benefited because of our diligence to talk to God daily. It’s easy to understand this devotional about prayer. Don’t struggle, don’t think it’s a waste of time, or an interference in your day. Don’t forsake time with God, and don’t wait for a National Day of prayer to engage in conversation with Him. Learn to have fun talking with Jesus every day. As a Christ-follower, this should be normal, natural, exciting, and an ongoing, incredible prayer adventure. God bless you, my friends!!

 
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