In 2 Chronicles 6:13-17, Solomon says a prayer of dedication for the new temple. Prayers of dedication are reminders for us to surrender all of life to God. Solomon reflects on God’s faithfulness and character. God was faithful to keep His covenant with Israel. God’s lovingkindness was steadfast throughout their history. This is the same God who is in covenant with us. All He asks is that we walk upright; that our lives reflect the God whom we serve. Prayer keeps two things in perspective: who I am and who God is. God is supreme and majestic. I am simply His servant who is called to live life in light of Him. I am to make much of Him just as He has made much of me.
Archive for April, 2012
Nehemiah 1:4 shows the connection between vision and prayer. Whenever I am burdened about something, my initial reaction is to do something about it in my own strength. I begin counting my resources to see if I have what it takes to pull it off. Once I realize my resources are limited, I become discouraged. After being burdened for the broken state of the city of Jerusalem, Nehemiah’s first response was to pray. The first stop on the journey to fulfilling His God-given assignment was his prayer room. Prayer can be seen as a passive action; a ritual before getting the job done. In actuality, prayer is very active. It is the means by which we call on God and beseech His favor. We can accomplish more on our knees than on our feet.
Yesterday morning, a group of us from The Bridge did a prayer walk in Downtown Silver Spring. It was encouraging to see so many individuals ready to pray at 8:00am. As we walked the streets of Silver Spring and DC, this Scripture came to mind. 1 Chronicles 4:9 – Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me! And God granted him what he requested.” Even though we didn’t pray Jabez’s prayer verbatim, we did in essence. We prayed that God would extend our reach and use us to make a difference in arenas and the lives of people where He hasn’t before. Yet, none of this possible unless the hand of God is with and on us.
One things for sure, we all go through difficulty in life. Life is filled with ups and downs. It is filled with good times and bad times. There are moments of celebration and moments of mourning. Here is the good news. We serve a High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. Jesus was tempted with all things, yet without sin. He bore the cross and endured shame. Very often, we turn to other things and people who either cannot satisfy us nor sympathize with us. God not only hears us, but sympathizes with us.
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 introduces to the three key virtues that sparked a spiritual renewal in Thessalonica. They were the virtues that helped shaped the Church of Thessalonica into a model church: faith, hope, and love. At The Bridge, we say “Love God (faith). Love Others (love). Make a Difference (hope).” Regardless of the terminology we use, we must be relentless to our devotion with God, community with other believers, and impact on the world. As we become imitators of Christ, we too can become an example to all believers. Not only that, but may we shine as beacons in a dark world.