11 Thing to Pray for a Deeper Prayer Life

Men, Lead Out In Prayer!

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;” (1 Ti 2:8)

According to Paul, men are to put away petty differences and anger. Instead of fighting, they are to pray with one another. Paul gives this command to the men instead of the women because as one commentator says,

“As a general rule, men are more likely to agitate the church…they are critical and competitive. They tend to argue first and listen later. They would rather be right than be reconciled. They get angry when they don’t get their way. So the Bible reminds Christian men not to fight.”[1]

Competitive and Dominate

Men, you know this is true. Being competitive and dominate is what comes naturally. When we don’t win or come out on top, we are more likely to get angry and fight with one another. As Christian men, however, we aren’t supposed to fight and burst out in anger at one another. Instead, as Paul tells us, we are to be spiritual leaders, who lead out in prayer.

Freed by the Gospel

While being a spiritual leader who leads out in prayer might be difficult and unnatural, it’s possible because the gospel has changed us. It has freed us to love others more than ourselves, to forgive and let go, to lift others up and work alongside them.

What the Church and Country Needs

Honestly, prayer is what the church needs. It especially needs men who are willing to lead spiritually, and specifically, to lead in the area of prayer. Men, we can’t abdicate our responsibility any longer to the women in the church. We must lead as God has called us to lead.

I am sure other pastors in other times have said this but I am going to say it now in our time.

Men, if we want our country and community to change, if we want to see people come to Jesus, we have to be spiritual leaders who are leading out in prayer.

I am not just talking to Pastors, Deacons, and Sunday School teachers. I am talking to all men. All of us need to be spiritual leaders, who are leading out in prayer.

Challenge

With that in mind, then, let me issue a challenge to the men in the church. The next time you are with a group of men, your family, or your church family and the conversation turns to a discussion about what needs to change in this country, instead of joining into that discussion, I want you to stop and lead them in prayer. I want you to do that because just talking about what needs to change isn’t going to change anything, but you praying with others will.

Jeremiah Lanphier

If you aren’t convinced, consider the story of Jeremiah Lanphier. He lived in New York City in the 1850’s. New York City wasn’t much different then than it is today. It was a place full of sin. Corruption, gambling, greed, atheism, and apathy toward God ran rampant.

Instead of continuing to complain, Lanphier decided to do something. Believing in the power of prayer, he put an ad in the newspaper calling for a weekly prayer meeting. The first meeting began with six men praying that the Lord would do a work in their city and the world. As they continued to meet, something amazing happened. Within six months, over 10,000 people were gathering daily, instead of weekly, to pray over the lunch hour for their city and the country. Their prayers lit a fire of mass revival [2].

It all started with on man’s burden and an ad calling others to join him in prayer. You see, prayer is powerful. It changes things. So men, let’s be the spiritual leaders God has called us to be and lead out in prayer. The gospel has freed us to do that, so let’s do it.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you realize the gospel frees you to be a spiritual leader?
  2. Are you leading out in prayer in your family and church?

Resources

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[1]  Philip Graham Ryken, 1 Timothy, ed. Richard D. Phillips, Daniel M. Doriani, and Philip Graham Ryken, Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2007), 78.

[2] Adapted from this article: http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/webfm_send/577

How Our Generation Can Learn From the Older

Old Man Legs

What does it take to learn from the older generation? How can our generation be taught by the previous? These are questions our generation should be asking and answering.

Recently, I posted an article entitled: A Call to Maturity: How the older generation can train the youth of today. One of my readers asked if I would write a follow up post discussing how the youth of today can learn from the older generation. I have given that question some thought over the last week. What follows are a few suggestions.

How Our Generation Can Learn from the Older

(1) Be open and teachable

A learner is someone who is open to learning. If you are to be taught by the previous generation, you must be open to them speaking into your life, which means you must be teachable. While self-esteem counsellors have puffed us up, telling us we are the smartest, most talented generation yet, we’re not. Actually, we have a lot to learn, and those who have come before us have a lot to teach.

(2) Look for those who model biblical manhood and womanhood.

Instead of finding your role models in pop culture, you should look in your church. As you do, look for those who model biblical manhood and womanhood. Ask questions like: Are they kind and respectable? Do they live according to God’s Word, even if it could impact them negatively in the community? Do they love their spouse? Do they serve the church and community?

(3) Look for those who are accessible. 

While you may learn a lot from your favorite podcaster or blogger, chances are you don’t have direct access to them. But you do have access to the faithful saint sitting next to you in the pew on Sunday. While they may not be as famous, they are accessible and most likely able to teach you just as much, if not more. So instead of looking global, look local.

(4) Ask for advice on decisions

One way to start a mentoring relationship is simple to ask for advice on decisions in your life. Don’t assume advice will be handed out unsolicited. Instead, ask for it from others, and then ask again.

(5) Work toward maturity

If you are not working toward maturity, you will not be interested in learning how to be mature. Actively working toward maturity in Christ is a necessary part of learning from others.

Question for Reflection

  1. What would you add to this list? How would you counsel the youth of today to learn from the older generation?

Resource

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How Should Christians Work? – Part 5

Work, it’s something we do a lot of. I am not sure if you have ever figured it up, but on a 40 hour work week, you will spend over 2,000 hours a year working. Over 30 years that amounts to roughly 62,000 hours or 2,600 straight days at work. I think it is safe to say that work is a big part of our lives.

Work is also a necessary part of our lives because without work we wouldn’t survive. We have to pay for the place live, the food we eat, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, and the things we do. So work is not only a big part of our lives, it’s a necessity.

Since we work so much, and retirement is far away for most of us, it’s important we have a biblical understanding of work.

How Should Christians Work?

(5) As Christians, employers must recognize they are ultimately accountable to God

In the second half of verse 1 of chapter 4, Paul says this,

“…knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” (Col 4:1b)

Just as employees are accountable to God and should work for Him, so should employers. They too have a master in heaven that they are answerable to. Knowing they are accountable to God should drive how they treat and interact with their employees.

Conclusion

So as we have seen, work is a big part of our day and life. We are going to spend at least 62 thousand hours working. As Christians, we can’t separate our church life from our work life. They two have to be one. We have to allow the Bible to influence the way we work.

While we don’t have time in this post to cover all the ways the Bible should influence our work, applying these five ideas are a good start.

Question for Reflection

  1. Are you working from a Christian perspective?

Resources

Post adapted from my sermon How Should We Work from a Christian Perspective?

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