A Wisdom Retreat - January 1

Why Pray?

Psalm 86:6-7

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; and give heed to the voice of my supplications! In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, for You will answer me.

R. A. Torrey, a former president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, once wrote ten powerful reasons why believers should pray:

  1. There is a devil and prayer is the God-appointed means of resisting him.
  2. Prayer is God's way for us to obtain what we need from Him.
  3. The apostles, whom God set forth to be a pattern for us, considered prayer to be the most important business of their lives.
  4. Prayer occupied a prominent place and played a very important part in the earthly life of our Lord.
  5. Prayer is the most important part of the present ministry of our Lord, since He is now interceding for us.
  6. Prayer is the means God has appointed for our receiving mercy from Him and obtaining grace to help in time of need.
  7. Prayer is the means of obtaining the fullness of God's joy.
  8. Prayer with thanksgiving is the means of obtaining freedom from anxiety, and in anxiety's place is peace which passes understanding.
  9. Prayer is the means by which we are to keep watchful and be alert at Christ's return.
  10. Prayer is used by God to promote our spiritual growth, bring power into our work, lead others to faith in Christ, and bring all other blessings to Christ's church.

In other words, the question should not be why should we pray, but how can we afford not to pray?

Just look at that list! It is not exhaustive, by the way. All one needs to do is look into a few of the Psalms to find that prayer should be the most vital part of a believer's life. Just as a wife cannot have a good relationship with her husband without speaking, so also a believer cannot have a good relationship with God if there is no communication. Prayer is how we talk to God, and His Word is how He speaks to us.

It baffles me how shallow our view of prayer has become in the church today. Think about our own perspective: when there is a crisis with a family member—a child is rushed to ICU; your father has a heart attack; your sibling is experiencing depression—what is the first thing that believers often say in these circumstances? "Well, I guess all I can do now is pray."

I can't tell you how many times I've heard that in these past few years; I've said it myself.  I don't know where this "last-resort" idea comes from, but it is terribly wrong.

Prayer isn't the last thing—it's the best thing that you and I could ever do for anyone.

He's listening . . . are you praying?

Prayer Point: >1 Peter 5 says to "cast our anxiety upon the Lord, for He cares for us." Thank God for never turning a deaf ear to your call to Him, and for always listening to your supplication.

Extra Refreshment: John 17—the prayer of Jesus.


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

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