Thursday, May 3, 2018

How To Avoid Spiritual Apathy, Atrophy, and Impotence - Pray

…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit… —Ephesians 6:18

{CHAMBERS} “As we continue on in our intercession for others, we may find that our obedience to God in interceding is going to cost those for whom we intercede more than we ever thought. […] It is impossible for us to have living and vital intercession unless we are perfectly and completely sure of God. […] Identification with God is the key to intercession… [ …] God gives us discernment in the lives of others to call us to intercession for them, never so that we may find fault with them.”

{ELGIN} Do you see someone who has faults? I am not referring to the one you see when you look in a mirror. Sure you do. It is inescapable.  (Romans 3:23) “All have sinned” (Romans 3:10) “There are none righteous” That pretty much covers everyone.  So you are going to see the works of the flesh every day .. (Galatians 5:19-21) “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.”  That list just about covers it. Those things you see in others that upset you, make you to not want to be around them, to be angry about what they have done or are doing.  Perhaps what you should do is pray for them.  Most of us don’t for a three reasons, I can think of.  One, we think they should be punished for their behavior and should not be allowed to get away with it, and maybe they should be. Two, we don’t think they are deserving of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness (ours too), and they are not but then again neither are we.  Three,  we have a pretty much non-existent prayer life and don’t pray for ourselves, unless we are in trouble, let alone people who are doing things we don’t like.

But God did not say pray if you feel like. No, we are to pray because it is our responsibility and critical to the health and growth of our personal spiritual life.  For most of us we treat prayer as an option.  Sunday morning and perhaps at dinner time.  That’s it.  Prayer is not a spiritual gift for some.  It is a responsibility for all Christians.  If becoming a Christian is the most significant thing that has happened in your life, and it should be, then communicating with the Father should be important to you as a child of God.  If it’s not, well “Houston we have a problem!”  Prayerlessness is a symptom of spiritual apathy and spiritual apathy always lead to spiritual atrophy which always leads to spiritual impotence.  You need to pray .. you can’t afford not to!

Here is a simple way … a friend shared this with me years ago.  First make certain that your heart is clean - clear up any unconfessed sons with God. (1 John 1:9) Use your fingers and thumb as a guide.  Start with your thumb, it represents your family, index finger those who point you to Jesus  - Spiritual leaders. Middle finger, those in authority over you – government, work, etc. Ring finger, others – those you care about and maybe don’t care about.  Pinky finger – yourself – last and least.  Try it.  Why not make it a habit?

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