Faith & Reflection
The older I get, the more I talk with God. I spend less time with my eyes closed, my hands folded and my knees bent than I did earlier, but at times I find myself talking with God almost constantly. And my conversations with the Lord are less and less about what I need and more and more about enjoying fellowship with Him, telling Him how I feel and seeking His point of view and His direction. In other words, He is not a Santa with goodies, but my Sovereign with guidance.
This communication is a wonderfully personal, powerful and practical spiritual experience. Nevertheless I read recently that, “Prayer is the most unpopular activity in the church.” This didn’t surprise me because I have noticed a marked decline in gathering for corporate prayer on the part of churches. Add to this the fact that a survey conducted by leaders of 11 conservative Christian groups discovered that, “the average pastor surveyed prays only three minutes each day.” I am inclined to think that the two realities are connected.
I remember reading about the construction of Launch Pad 39 at Cape Canaveral. This launch complex was originally built for the Apollo program and later used for Space Shuttle launches. I don’t recall the exact numbers and I haven’t taken the time to look them up, but I think that Pad 39 is the size of a football field and has 20 or 30 feet of concrete supportive structure beneath to support its launches.
As I contemplated the massive base required for launching a shuttle into space I was reminded of how prayer provides a solid base for ministry and for Christian living. If what I mentioned earlier in this article is so, then I would suggest that Christians might be trying to launch the Lord’s work and their lives from a launch pad the size, shape and strength of a kleenex tissue.
Perhaps our prayer lives will be more dynamic when we understand that prayer is not a dreary duty but a pleasant privilege. Bill Moyers, special assistant to Lyndon B. Johnson, was asked to give thanks for the evening meal he was honoured to share with the Johnson family in the White House. As Moyers began praying softly, the President interrupted him saying, “Speak up, Bill! I can’t hear you! “The former Baptist minister stopped in mid-sentence and without looking up calmly replied, “I wasn’t addressing you, Mr. President.”
“I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk, when I lie down and when I arise…the answers are always coming.” George Mueller
“Jesus told his disciples… that they should always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1).