Today is a little different. We’ll share one quick observation and then offer a practice to expand our Advent experience.
Did you know that the disciples only asked Jesus to teach them one thing?
They didn’t ask Him how to heal people.
Or, to teach them to do something cool like turn water into wine or walk on water.
They one thing they asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray. (Luke 11:1-4)
Here are a few thoughts about prayer:
Ian Simkins makes an important observation regarding a story about Elijah found in James chapter 5. We read that Elijah prayed it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t, for three and half years. Then he prayed it would start raining, and it did. But something important happened when it started to rain, crops grew.
If crops grow when the rain came that means, there were seeds in the ground. It suggests the farmers were planting seeds in the dust. They kept planting believing the rain would come.
Prayer can feel like this sometimes, like we are sowing seeds in the dust. But even when it doesn’t feel like there are things happening physically, there are things happening spiritually. Ian goes on to say, “I want to have seeds already in the ground when the rain comes. Even when our prayers don’t seem to be making a visible difference, may we keep sowing trusting the One who brings the rain.”
Considering that, here are two things Jesus teaches us about prayer:
First, we don’t have to worry about being obnoxiously persistent.
There is also a story in Luke 18 where Jesus shares about a widow who causes a judge to change his mind because of her persistence. Jesus is very clearly saying to us, do not quit asking for what you need.
Not only that, but in Isaiah we read, “Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work… Isaiah 62:7
Sometimes we just need to keep asking.
Second, another thing Jesus tells his disciples about prayer, is that …your Father knows what you need before you ask him. -Matthew 6:8
So instead of making a list of everything going on, if you find yourself with no words, one option that a friend of mine employs is just to say “You already know”, you already know, until you find words again.
To close, here is a challenge, for this next week, commit go for a daily 15 minute prayer walk and choose one thing to be persistent about. If you want you can email me at email@example.com and tell me what you are praying for, I will pray for it as well.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work.
Do not quit.
Keep planting, the rains are coming.
Daily Reading: Matthew 6, Luke 11
Source: Source: https://www.instagram.com/iansimkins/