Monday, July 2, 2012

the engine that drives the church

Yesterday afternoon Kim and I drove over to Atlanta to hear Beth Moore speak at Passion City Churchit’s not a bad drive and it helps that we have a daughter who lives there and so every trip is a chance to see her.  This was my second visit to Passion City and for the second time their regular worship leader, Chris Tomlin, wasn’t there.  But for the second time the back up was pretty good (to say the least).  Last night it was Matt Maher – the time before Matt Redman.

Beth taught on John 19 and as you might expect was the exceptional Bible teacher that God has gifted her to be but the image that will stick with me was what she did before she began to teach.

Beth had everyone in the room stand and then she got down on her knees to pray.  Maybe she does this all the time (this was my first time to hear her live) but she certainly didn’t do this for show – her prayer was simple, genuine and humble.

In yesterday morning’s message I shared a quote from President Eisenhower when the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance:

These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 14, 1954

On her knees in front of a room filled with people eager to hear her teach – and more importantly before God – Beth Moore demonstrated that sort of humility.

For many of us – and this is equally true for those of us called into ministry – we can so quickly become reliant upon our own “great strength” (or cleverness or wisdom) that we miss the truth of how desperately we need to spend time on our knees.

I quote this a lot – because it’s such an important observation from Jim Cymbala in what’s become a classic book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire:

If we call upon the Lord, He has promised in His Word to answer, to bring the unsaved to Himself, to pour our His Spirit among us.  If we don’t call upon the Lord, He has promised nothing – nothing at all. It’s as simple as that.  No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer.  This is the engine that will drive the church.

The future depends upon our times of prayer.  Prayer - and I'm convinced humble, genuine and simple prayer - is the engine that will drive the church.

So the question I am asking myself (and you might ask yourself):  Where do I need to humble myself in prayer?

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