Sunday, November 13, 2005

Prayerlessness: what's the rush?

From Jack Deere's Surprised by the Voice of God (Zondervan, 1996), p.88:
Nobody really persecutes the church in America because it doesn't threaten anyone. And it won't until it becomes a praying church.... The number one confession... from pastors all over the world and all... denominational lines is they don't have significant prayer lives, nor do they have regular quality times of meditation in the Scriptures. Why should we expect God to speak to us when we spend so little time with him?

The question is not, "Why don't we see more miracles and have more supernatural revelation in the church today?" Rather, given the apathy and lack of godliness in the church today, the question is, "Why do we have any supernatural experiences at all in the American church?"

True confession: I'm not a pastor, but I still don't have a significant prayer life, nor do I have regular quality times of meditation. Not in the Scriptures, not on the writings of the saints. I have mostly perfunctory readings and mediocre meditations. Then I'm rushing off to the next thing.

When I think about this, and about how I avoid prayer along with the worst of them, I wonder, what am I really after in life? Not "What am I supposed to be after?" but what am I really about? Why am I in such a rush?

When I was in elementary school, I was in a rush to grow up. In high school, I was in a rush to get off to college, then in a rush to finish my degree, then to get to work. Now I'm thinking about retirement, but then what will I be rushing to? Heaven?

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