Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How’s Our Prayer Life

Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask from the Lord…

Life ChangeThe Special General Conference (SGC) begins tomorrow. They are meeting in St. Louis – and delegates from all over the world will be there – representing the United Methodist Church. We are a global denomination with over 12 million members. The Methodist movement has approximately 80 million worldwide in various denominations that have their roots in the Wesleyan movement of Christianity.

At the SGC – there will be 864 delegates – with 58 percent from the United States and 30 percent from Africa. The remaining delegates are from the Philippines – Europe – and Eurasia – as well as from churches with which The United Methodist Church has formal relationships.

If we could ask for one thing of God – what would it be? Would we ask for unity in the denomination? Would we ask for a peaceful split? I know my prayer has been for us to be open to the Holy Spirit. I have prayed for unity – but not at the cost of doctrinal integrity. I have prayed for the church to understand clearly the Word of God and to rightly determine its use in our lives. What would we ask for if we could ask for one thing of God?

Let me ask another question. How’s our prayer life? Prayer is how we speak with God. How’s our prayer life?

When we pray – do we do the normal now I lay me down to sleep and thank you for this food along with some short prayers at church? Does that sum up our prayer life? I sure hope not. How do we approach God? How’s our prayer life? Would we like to improve our prayer life?

How’s our prayer life? Have we ever invested time in our prayer life? Do we journal our prayer life – remembering what we prayed? Are we on a first-name basis with God in our prayer life? Do we believe God hears our prayers? How do we pray? What is our practice? Would we like to improve our prayer life?

I know – a lot of questions – how about some answers! Prayer is an essential part of our walk with Jesus. Building a deep prayer life is essential to building a deep relationship with Jesus. How would we like to improve our prayer life?

On Tuesday nights – at 6 pm – I have a live prayer time on Facebook. I lift prayer concerns that have been given to me throughout the day – and week. What about having a time when we could all gather for prayer? It wouldn’t have to be in one place – it could be online or simply a time set aside for folks to pray. I could lead off with the live prayer time at 6 pm and then ask folks to spend time praying for the concerns lifted? I could e-mail the list out so those who do not have Facebook could join us in prayer.

For some – the prayer time might be a time to develop a prayer life – beginning from scratch. For some – it might be a time to connect with others in prayer or to enhance their prayer life. For some – a time to humble themselves before Jesus. What would it be for you?

We could pray for the pastor – for our church leaders – for those on our prayer circle – for other needs that we face each day – for local and even international tragedies – for our elected leaders – and for the SGC and the fallout that will come from that meeting. We could pray for the concerns lifted in our Live Prayer time as well. I pray we will be open to the Holy Spirit and allow God to direct our prayers in our prayer time!

Anyone interested in a joint prayer time? There doesn’t need to be a set agenda. We could set aside some topics for directed prayer if we wished. Some will feel led to pray out-loud in their setting. Some will pray in silence. This could turn out to be an AWESOME time with Jesus and with sisters and brothers in the faith. As we approach the throne of God – in prayer – we could ask that one thing.

Let us come together – even in different locations – to seek after the Lord together. Let us seek His face and desire His grace. How’s our prayer life? What would we ask of God if we had just one thing to ask? Come join us on Tuesday nights at 6 pm for prayer – wherever you might find yourself at 6 pm. I’ll continue to start my live prayer time at 6 pm but when I close that time – I will invite all to continue to pray for as long as they can for the concerns lifted and for other concerns on their hearts. If we could ask one thing – what might we ask? What would it be? My prayer today is for a deeper prayer life for all of God’s children. I’m also praying for the Holy Spirit to come down on the delegates to the SGC and on the church when the conference is over.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

P.S. – Each day in 2019 – as we approach February 23rd and the Special General Conference of the UMC – spend 5 minutes praying for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of the delegates. Thanks.

February 22, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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