Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Response or Last Resource

Do you ever find it strange that we have the greatest resource at our disposal and yet we fail to use Him? Is it weird to you that the Creator of the universe wants to have a conversation with you and yet we ignore Him like a bum on the side of the road?

Prayer. A spoken or unspoken address to God. Includes praises, thanksgivings, confessions and requests. It’s public or private.

I was wondering, what role did prayer play in your upbringing? Our families have a ton of traditions. My family:
served at the homeless shelter in Flint during the holidays.
spent New Year’s Eve with my cousins.
went to my grandpa’s cabin every summer.
went to church every time the doors were open.

This got me thinking: what if prayer was one of the greatest family traditions your children remembered about growing up?

Matthew 18:19-20
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

This passage is about prayer and how God is present when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name. Something almost magical happens when we pray in numbers. We all believe this, because when there’s a physical, emotional or spiritual need we ask people to pray for us or our loved ones.

When there is a need, we call up our pastor, our best friend, even our mentor, but do we ever take that need to our family? Husbands and wives: do you pray together? There is something about praying with your spouse that draws you closer to God and each other. There is something intimate about speaking to God together as a couple. Husbands and wives, start praying together.

Parents do you pray with your children? Do your kids ever hear you talk to Jesus? If your kids never hear you pray, you’re not teaching them to pray! Parents talk to God in front of your kids. Help them to realize that mom and dad talk to Jesus.

Here’s what you can start doing today: start praying before you eat dinner together as a family (oh yeah, I guess I should mention you should start eating together too). I realize your lives are busy, but you have to make time for what is important.

Pray together as a family before you go to bed. Parents pray with your children when you lay them down for bed. Husbands and wives, pray together before you go to bed.

My hope for you and your family is that prayer would become our first response, not our last resource. Make prayer your family tradition.

Grace & Peace, Marc

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