Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday's Word...προσεύχομαι


In case you hadn't figured it out, this is a followup blog series to our Sunday morning sermon series entitled, Living in the Shadow of the Cross. You can see the previous weeks here:

Week 1 - What's Next?

Week 2 - λατρεία (Worship)

Week 3 -  γράμμα (Study)

Easter is the highlight of the year for Christians. Not because we have high church attendance, but because we are reminded of the hope we have in Christ's defeat of sin, guilt, shame, and death. Jesus' resurrection gives us hope for the life to come, but also for this life. What does it look like to live "post-cross" or in the shadow of the cross. 

In last week's blog, I talked about my 2nd grade girlfriend and how we didn't talk. Communication is a 2-way street. This is elementary. Obviously we know we should be reading our Bible and praying. We could close the book and stop right there, couldn't we?

Except that knowing and doing are two completely different things. I have to admit that prayer is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines for me. I believe in the power of prayer; it is undeniable. I do pray, but there is a passage that troubles me:

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always,  pray [προσεύχομαι] continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.    Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:15-19, NIV)
I could make excuses as to why I struggle with praying continually. But if I'm honest, at the core it is simply that I like to be in control. Praying requires me to trust God to be sovereign over all things...not other people's things, but my things. I am a fixer, I like to take care of my stuff. Trusting requires me to let go.

I believe that God is sovereign  I believe He is all-powerful. I have a hunch you do too. Belief will only get you so far. In the shadow of the cross we are called to put feet to our belief, to open our hearts and hands to God, to release all things: praises and requests to Him and trust the one who can do immeasurably more in you to do immeasurably more in you.  

Part of becoming "rooted in God's love"is to be continually aware of God's presence in your life. I believe that holding on to things so that I can take care of them quenches the Spirit's work in my life. I know this and am continually learning to move from belief to trust

What about you?

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