CORE VALUE #1: WE ARE A PEOPLE OF PRAYE

We are a people of prayer!  That's one of those statements that just sounds right as it rolls off your tongue (or through your mind, if you don't read aloud like me).  Why is that?  What is so right about that statement--that proclamation? Yet the ironic thing is that it's seldom stated and even less often lived.  

The Apostle Paul talks about a moment that the direction of your life, the thought patterns of your mind, and even your eternal future change: 

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) 

If there was ever a proponent of the Gospel that deeply believed that it was an all-in, hand-to-the-plow-without-looking-back (Luke 9:62) adventure, it was the Apostle Paul.  It's no wonder he says that we must confess with our mouth (for it to be verbal it must already be mental) and believe in our heart (to believe in your heart it must already be felt in your spirit).  Being saved means being in complete and utter surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.  

I believe that "We are a people of prayer" is such a meaningful and rich statement because to genuinely be a person of prayer, one continually confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart.  In other words, Paul's "ingredients" for salvation may be a one-time event, but to be a people of prayer WE MUST CONTINUE THE SPIRIT OF CONFESSION DAILY.   

Imagine that!  To DAILY engage God in the manner that we did when we first repented (completely turned our life toward God). That's what a prayerful life looks like.  DAILY surrender.  DAILY devotion.  DAILY dialogue with our Creator.  

That'll challenge you. 

That'll change you. 

That'll shape you to be more like Christ.  

In our Core Values preaching series We are a People of Prayer this was one of the most important take-aways:  Prayer begins with a hunger for God and a hunger for change (Psalm 63).  I believe this is a major reason Jesus' prayer ends with a "conviction" to be changed rather than a "petition" for change: Not my will but yours. (Luke 22)  

To be a people of prayer, we are far more than simply a people that say prayers often (though we do that!); instead, we are a people that daily hunger for God and hunger for God to change us.  We pray because we know that prayer "feeds" that hunger and is a "vehicle" for that transformation. God answers those prayers, and many times those answers are in the form of changing us.  

Let's not forget, though, that we're also a people of prayer because our prayers are a powerful tool for changing others and the world around us (James 5 and elsewhere).  But even those prayers are only effective because of our righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21) that is accomplished by God.  In other words, PRAYER WORKS BECAUSE GOD IS AT WORK. 

We pray because it works!  We change! Other's change! The world changes! And it's the natural response to a deep hunger for God and a life in complete surrender to the Kingdom…DAILY. 

WE ARE A PEOPLE OF PRAYER

Praying for change, 

PASTOR RYAN

 

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