Monday, October 29, 2012

Repeating Prayer - And More

Most of this was originally posted here a long time ago. I'm repeating it today because of two ladies I consider prayer warriors - not because they are in a battle, but because they are dedicated to praying for others on a consistent basis. One almost gave up wearing a Prayer Warrior badge because it might offend others - they should not be offended by recognizing how often she is on her knees in prayer. The other is outspoken, too, about spending time with her Lord, almost always for other people. She knows He sees to her care. So, I focus on prayer again today:

Jesus was speaking to His disciples at the temple, explaining what would be coming in the future.  Some would come saying they were the Christ, but they were not.  There would be wars that would appear to be enough to end all wars, but they would not. Whether taken to prison or simply sought out for answers, He had words for His followers as the world comes to them:

And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: (Luke 21:13-14 KJV)

I believe that when a Christian is following God’s will for their lives, they will have opportunities for testifying about their faith.  It is a very good way for us to explain our faith to others, to share what we believe and why we believe it. When we do so He will provide what to say:

For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. (Luke 21:15 KJV)

The problem is we don’t spend enough time with Him and with His word to feel that comfortable speaking about our faith, our beliefs.

In our jobs, we spend 40+ hours/week gaining experience.  When it is a profession, not just work, we do extra training.  Some is company provided, some we spend time and money outside of work to learn how to do our job better, how to advance in our careers and we build networks of people in similar positions, learning from them, too.

Seldom do we apply that process to our religion.  A Pew Survey from 2010 has some interesting data: The differences between 1970's and the 2000's among young adults' religious affiliation is remarkable -- 1970, 12% unaffiliated, or have no religion; 2000, 23%. Daily prayer was up, 41% to 45% of young adults, as with other age groups, so those affiliated with a religion appear to be praying more.

Worship attendance included Total Population as well as being broken down by ages. Out of the 77% who gave a religious affiliation, only 46% attend services at least weekly.  Prayer comes in a little better -- of that 77% affiliated, only 65% pray daily.

Scripture reading comes last. A paltry 40% read scripture daily. At least those of you who stop by here daily get a dose of scripture! And, my readers know that I read scripture – Every. Single. Day.

Why? Because I’m called upon to witness. People ask me what I believe, and I feel a personal responsibility to be truthful about what and why I believe. So, I go to scheduled church serves three times a week to learn from our pastor.  I attend Sunday School and Ladies Meetings to share what I know and to learn more from others witnessing about the Messiah’s work in their lives.  That gives me my congregation’s doctrine.

I find that insufficient – I must know how what I believe stacks up against others.  If I only hear/read from one viewpoint, how can I discern the truth?  How can anyone? It takes time, thoughtfulness and research for us to be settled in our hearts.

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)