And He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,’…”
Matthew 21:13 NKJV

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Recently Read...

Kelly Franklin
Feedom Christian Center

Recently, I have been reading, EM Bounds writings on prayer. He has much to say to the Body of Christ and the importance of having a vital prayer life as a disciple of Christ. He says that "prayer distinguishes the children of God…it is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christians are prayerful." Why? Because Christian’s put their faith in Christ and choose to govern their lives by Jesus’ teachings. Jesus taught and modeled prayer. He lived the example of prayer for His disciples. He went from one place of prayer to the next and worked miracles in between. His life on earth modeled prayer and relationship with the Father. As Christians, ours must too.

Let’s ask ourselves: “What does my prayer life say about my relationship with God?” What does my prayer life say about my walk with Christ? Would others know that I am a Christian by my prayers?” “Would they be drawn to Christ by my personal devotion? By my expression and confidence of faith? Or by the love that I express toward others because of the influence of time spent in His presence?” These are questions I am contemplating.

Do we pray out of duty or devotion? Or is it based on our need? Do our prayers flow from a deep love for relationship with Christ and a desire to be like him? Or are our prayers self focused and crisis centered? Being a disciple of Christ really begins in the place of prayer, which is relationship with Him. It is a mark and a true test of our devotion. Let prayer be an overflow of your gratitude, love, and desire for more of Him. Then we can confidently declare that we are “in Christ,” true followers of Him…..Christians.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Recently Heard...

Bonnie Stebbins
Church in the Rock - Melbourne

I recently heard a speaker say, “The Christian life is not about knowledge, it is experience.” Yes, I do pray to know more about God. I want to understand his ways, to understand his heart. But even more, I want to experience his love, live in his grace, dwell in his presence. John 15 encourages us to abide in Christ. This means to draw our every breath of life each day from Christ. The life of Christ will flow through us and bring forth his life to those around us. It will also draw us toward God. Charles Spurgeon said, ”Prayer comes spontaneously from those who abide in Jesus. Prayer is the natural outgushing of a soul in communion with Jesus.” If you are abiding in Christ you will experience that drawing into the presence of God. Prayer will not be a burden or obligation, but a joy. Prayer will be your very lifeline to Jesus. You will not only know him, but experience him. You will feel his love, receive his grace, be filled with his power, and hear his words of encouragement. Will you allow the love of Jesus that is in your heart to draw you to him? Will you let prayer gush forth from you and experience Jesus?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feeling Faint?

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I told someone recently that one of the most consistent spiritual attacks I face is simply the temptation to give up. It could be on a promise from God, a ministry, a person, a commitment to some spiritual discipline. How about you? Feeling tired? Frustrated? Nothing you’re trying seems to be working?

When I feel that way, there are three verses that come to mind that motivate me.
  • (Gal 6:9)"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart".
  • (Prov 24:10} "If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small."
  • (Jer 12:5) "If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?"
I know, those last two are basically “quit being a wimp” verses, but it works for me. And there is one other thing that works. You can read about it in Isaiah 40:28-31. Waiting on Him; and prayer is a great way to do that. So I have a rule. We may stumble, we may whine, but there is really only one thing we can’t do, and that’s quit.

(Heb 6:11-12) "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

God is faithful!