Monday, July 4, 2011

Are You Sincere?

The most powerful forces available to the planet are prayer and worship.  Both can be forms of intimate communion with God...or they can be powerless forms of religion.  Which are they to you?  In this post I will talk about prayer.

I remember back (I'm talking waaaaaaay back) before I began my relationship with Jesus.  The only worship I thought existed consisted of simply going to a one hour Sunday morning service.
  The only prayer I was ever involved in was mostly for me and very, very selfish.  If I ever prayed, it was because I wanted something, needed something, or was in some sort of trouble!  I remember wanting a bass boat once.  Connie didn't want me to get it for one reason...we could not afford it.  But I wanted it!  Guess what I did.  I prayed for it.  "Dear Lord, please give me the bass boat!"  Not that I ever heard God say "yes", and that He ever heard me...but I got it anyway and our financial woes got worse!  Advice:  those kinds of things are NOT conducive to a happy marriage.  A few months later our world and our marriage fell apart.  It was then I cried out to Jesus, not from some religious "give me" prayer, but from the depths of my heart.  God heard me and put Connie and me on a Godly track that would save our marriage and our family!

There was something in the prayer equation that made the difference in my prayer.  What was it?  It was sincerity.  Unfortunately for most of us it takes some type of crisis to bring us to sincerity in our prayer.  Dire circumstances can help us  differentiate between what is truly significant and what is not.  BUT...we must understand that part of growing in our relationship with Jesus is learning to pray to Him and worship Him in complete sincerity - crisis or no crisis.  This is God's goal for you and me.

Prayer is an equation.  Sincerity + Time = Powerful Prayer.  You cannot simply apply the process and expect God to move.  One who is sincere has resolved that the process will be applied UNTIL something happens!  It takes time as well!  My prayer for you and me is that we can grow in His grace and knowledge by becoming as sincere as we possibly can in our prayers.  And that our prayers become even more significant and life-changing.  Let me leave this scripture with you.  "...The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much".  (James 5: 16b)

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