Month: October 2016

Prayer that Prevails 06

What does prevailing prayer really look? Prevailing prayer can be defined as praying until an answer comes. But how long? It seems to have much to do with… confidence in faith.

An elderly, Jewish man named Honi was seen by many in the Holy City as a holy man; a man of prayer and faithfulness. Once, during a period of prolonged drought, the leaders of the community came to Honi asking him to pray for rain to end the drought that had plagued the city for months. The shofar blew daily calling the people to pray together to God to send rain.

Honi agreed to pray. He came to the city center and with all the eyes of the people on him he took a staff and drew a circle in the dry dirt. Then, he stood inside the circle. He said, “I will not leave this circle until God answers my prayer.” And he began praying and as he prayed, large drops of rain began to fall… some said they were the size of eggs!

But to their surprise, the people heard Honi say, “Not for this rain I have prayed.” And suddenly the skies turned ominous and thunder rumbled and a deluge of rain fell flooding the city street and streams and brooks with an onslaught of water. “Not for this rain I have prayed,” Honi prayed again, “but for your rain of mercy, of faithfulness and of gentleness.” And the rain suddenly grew quiet and a gentle dousing of rain began that continued for days until the drought was ended.

According to the historian Josephus, Honi the Elder became known as “The Circle Maker.” Where does your circle of prayer need to begin today?

FOR MEDITATION: This is the confidence we have, that when we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14-15

FOR REFLECTION: What area of your life does a circle need to be drawn around? Are you willing to be “the circle maker” in your family, your workplace, your world today?

The Red & The Blue

We have now officially entered the most volatile, election season in my lifetime, if not our nation’s lifetime. Even the vitriolic and acerbic comments that flew back and forth from newspaper headlines to pulpits to public debates between candidates preceding the days of the Civil War are paling in comparison to what is happening today.

With the forward movement of social media, the commentary is not limited to TV ads or newspaper editorials or radio spots. It is now ever present with us; on our phones, and computer screens. It seems the onslaught is relentless and toxic.

In the midst of this, the Christian community has a role to play. We are to be Light. We are to be Salt. We are to be… different.

But are we? Can a lost world see the difference in what you are saying and how you are thinking about this election? Is it possible for you to disagree with another person without needing to destroy them because their opinion differed from yours?

Our country has seldom, if ever, been more divided than it is today. There are not clear and easy choices to be made. But there is one thing that is certain. Our witness… and our vote… matters. Our vote matters because we are citizens of America. We have an obligation to exercise, as the world watches, this amazing privilege we have of electing national leaders.

But our witness matters even more. We are people with “dual” citizenship. We have an obligation first of all, to another kingdom… one that Jesus said, “is not of this world.” And our testimony for that King… and that invisible Kingdom… must remain before us as our priority at all times.

Simply put: we dare not surrender our testimony as ” ambassadors for Christ who are to, by the mercies of God, appeal to all men to be reconciled to God” for the sake of forwarding our political agenda in a temporary world.

So before we press “send” on that next tweet or post a Facebook message designed to communicate a political message in a less than civil way, ask yourself one important question…
What will the King say?

FOR MEDITATION: We are therefore ambassadors for Christ….    2 Cor 5:20

FOR REFLECTION: How can you bear witness to the Heavenly Kingdom through the controversies of this election cycle? Can we let our light shine in the confusion of our day?

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