Did you Think to Pray? - Allan Myers and CROWNED - Don Riddle

 

Did You Think to Pray?

 

Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor,
As a shield today? 

Mary A. Kidder authored this song in 1876. Our speech has changed a little in the last hundred or so years, but the message is still the same and still very clear. We need prayer. At times though, we need to be reminded of what it brings to our lives.

 

I'm so thankful we are looking at Christ's teachings on prayer in Growth Groups. I hope you are part of one of the many groups around the county, as this topic has already proven to be an enriching study for ours.

 

In regard to our prayer life, there is just too much to discuss to cover in one, or even several, articles. With that in mind, I'd like to give you a few things to consider which may be out of the realm of usual thought related to your prayer life.

 

The first, fasting, is found throughout the Bible. Some fasters in scripture you may be familiar with are Esther, David and Jesus, among several others. At first glance, fasting, as depicted in Scripture, may seem outdated, harsh and even unnecessary. Starving yourself to get closer to God. My cramping, growling, stomach might just be a bit of a distraction when I'm trying to pour out my heart to God in prayer. But when you intentionally set out to combine your fasting with prayers and study of Scripture, specifically at the time of your greatest hunger pangs, it becomes a beautiful way to draw yourself closer to God.

 

The second, deliberate solitude, is something Jesus modeled throughout His life that we as a culture seem to have trouble implementing on our own. Scripture tells us there were several times when people had to go searching for Jesus. This was because He had removed himself far from all earthly distractions so He could talk to His Father, undisturbed. This suggestion pre-supposes you already have an established, daily, back and forth with God through prayer and Bible study as your foundation.

 

We save and plan elaborately for all kinds of vacations. Disney, the Grand Canyon, a Caribbean cruise or pick your favorite destination. These can all be wonderful times, especially when surrounded by people you love. What I hope you will think about doing is sacrificing some built up vacation time and hard earned savings to get away from all of your distractions, close yourself off from the world physically and electronically, and get one on one with your Creator. Maybe you've heard of vacations, playcations or staycations. You could call this a praycation. With the same planning we put into our other trips, this could work for an individual, a couple or a family. Try it. You may just find it becomes your favorite annual event.

 

I love you all.

Allan Myers

 

Crowned

 

Crowns. We find them in all sorts of places. In checkers, you are crowned if you make it to your opponent’s baseline. We have homecoming kings and queens. Beauty pageant winners are crowned, and even our senior citizen centers get in on the fun on occasion. 

Jesus got one, but I dare say that none of us would want one like it. It was rough. It was handmade. It was painful — a crown of thorns. Mocking. Demeaning. Spiteful. God tosses it aside 3 days later, and let Stephen see where Jesus was then, standing on the Father’s right hand in Heaven, Acts 7:56. 

Time is coming when God will honor us in ways that we cannot be honored on this Earth. It has to do with crowns. Since God wants us with Him, He gives us a crown of righteousness, 2 Tim 4:8. We now have the every right to be in His presence with no fear. That crown has no time limit for it is imperishable, 1 Cor 9:25. That’s why it’s called a crown of life, James 1:12, for life has been given to us.

These crowns are humbling in themselves, because we know that we don’t deserve them. That makes the last crown truly humbling, the crown of glory. Found in 1 Pet 5:4, a passage speaking about elders, a crown of glory awaits, but that crown is not reserved for them only. Heb. 2:10 tells us that God is intent on “bringing many sons to glory...”. When Christ is in us, He is our “hope of glory”, Col 1:27. Glory, never imagined, never earned, never to be removed, is given to us that walk with Jesus. That’s the crown that we get. 

Crowned, not with another piece in a checkers set, not with a crown to be relinquished next year, but with glory, righteousness, and life...forever

Our God is indeed...Good! Glory awaits us.

Don Riddle

 

 

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