Wednesday, September 23, 2015

part of the group

Acts 4:24  NLT
When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—

I had the privilege of traveling to Williamsburg, a city in Virginia rich with our nation’s history, for a time of prayer and being inspired to lead others to pray for our government officials, local, state and federal as well for the needs of our nation.  Testimonies from pastors to all levels of politicians talked about the impact of prayer as well as the influence that we have on others when we choose to pray.

For more many years my life has been shaped by the people who poured in to my life, and it really is an honor to be part of the lives of great men and women who love of God and pray for others.  Some of the grateful people in the world are the ones who few people recognize.

I speak of the Sunday School teacher who began to shape my life when I was 5 or 6 years old.  She is in heaven now, but what that precious lady, and several more people like her, did for me continues to guide my life today.

Move forward to the school teacher that stopped or took some of her free time to help me be a better student and prepared even more for the future.  I can point to several teachers that stepped up, beyond what they were paid to do, and continue to make a difference in who I am and how I serve others.

There were pastors in my life, some close and some not so close, that opened their lives to a young preacher that had a desire to learn.  These men gave me inspiration or books or the opportunity to preach or time talking about church life and so much more.  I am indebted to many, many people in ministry that continue to shape my life and even the church that I am honored to lead.

Even some people I have never met have shaped my life.  Some of them are authors who wrote great books.  Some of people who lived a very long time ago.  Some live in my day, but I only know them through their testimony or their work.  But they inspire me.

Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger.

The greatest have a similar characteristic or passion that makes them even greater.  It is the desire to and the passion that leads them to pray.  Prayer is an important part of the life of the person who is seeking God and seeking to influence others.  That teacher that stopped to pray for me, that friend that sent a card saying they were praying for me, that pastor who only met me for a few minutes that prayed, and lots of others showed me how to pray.

Prayer is a big deal.  Prayer shapes our lives.  I again ask you to go to and commit with me to pray for our nation and our leaders.  Prayer must characterize our churches, our families and our lives.

I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.

How important is it for you to pray for others and for yourself and even for our nation?  It ought to be part of our daily life.  Prayer helps us be together.  Prayer puts our hearts together.  We are one, we have many of the same goals and even passions when we spend time seeking God together and for one another.

Prayer reminds us that God is able and that we need God!  Prayer makes us part of a larger group of people!

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