I’ve Got to Pray More
Last week my wife and I drove down to Twin Peaks, CA for the Calvary Church Planting Network’s reEngage Conference. While we were only able to be there for two days, those days were well worth it.
All of the content and vibe of the conference was tremendous, but I want to share briefly about the impact Dave Earley’s message had on me personally. He spoke during the Tuesday evening session.
He talked about prayer. Here are some notable quotes that deeply encouraged me.
Speaking on the incredible success of the apostolic church, and the power they possessed: “We’ll never have Acts 2 until we have Acts 1.”
Referring to the urgency and necessity of prayer in spite of very busy pastoral schedules, he quoted C. H. Spurgeon: “Sometimes we think we’re too busy to pray. This is also a great mistake, for prayer is a saving of time.” In that regard, he also quoted Luther’s famous “I’m so busy I must spend the first three hours of my day in prayer” statement.
As he talked about the giants of the faith and the source of their successes: “If you want what they had you gotta do what they did.” In that context, he was talking about prayer and the prayer habits of the George Muellers, D.L. Moodys, and Hudson Taylors of the past.
Commenting on the ridiculousness of operating on our own strength and vision apart from the Lord, Dave asked: “How many of you think that God can do things bigger, better, and faster than you can?”
He talked about the three jobs of pastors … to pray, to teach, and to develop and release leaders.
In my own life, I have learned to pray well over the 39 years I’ve lived since I was baptized with the Holy Spirit in August of 1973. I have been shown—by the Lord Himself—how important prayer is to my walk with Him and to my calling and ministry. But I have to be honest and say that my prayer life has been anemic by comparison. I talk to the Lord every day, but have not been in the habit of daily getting on my knees for any real length of time … whether in worship, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession.
I was not condemned by Dave Earley’s message. Rather, I was encouraged as I was being rebuked and exhorted. I sensed the Holy Spirit Himself speaking to me during the message.
I want to change my priorities and habits in my latter years. It will be a battle, I know. The enemy will fight hard to gain control of the most effective means to marginalize and ruin his methods. But I must do this. I must pray. I get to pray. I/we are privileged to pray.
The last five days have seen growth and improvement. I am hopeful. And God is faithful and able.
Bill — thanks for passing along the words of encouragement.
A couple of questions…
I find myself in a similar situation. My prayer life is anaemic. One of the issues is the very much mental struggle of “God already knows” and similar thoughts to that. Additionally there are the thoughts of “why talk about it when I could be doing it”.
As a student and teacher of God’s word; as a pastor and missionary and Bible College teacher, I already know I’m wrong in those ways of thinking. But since you brought it up, maybe your years of being in relationship with Christ and being in ministry can help specifically tackle those things for the benefit of others who read this blog (and even me, as well!)
“We’ll never have Acts 2 until we have Acts 1.” I really like this! Thanks for the reminder Bill. The Lord has been showing me the same things lately and this is confirmation that prayer will achieve many greater things than me working at it.