Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shaking The Place

When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness. Acts 4:31

I guess I could simply ask, “Do you have a prayer life that shakes places?” I don’t. The problem with that is not that I do not have a prayer life that shakes, nor even stirs on the typical day. No, the real problem is most of the time I do not even desire that kind of a prayer life. On those rare occasions when I desire it I fail to pursue it. You might say I do not want a “shake the place” prayer life so much as I like the idea of that kind of a prayer life.

The praying that went on in this passage was a heartfelt desire, a “beseech” you kind of request. I would say it is a “begging” kind of prayer. I do not mean that negatively. The place of that prayer is not important. They were “gathered together” or “with one another”. The result of that prayer is the outrageous part.

The place was “shaken”. I looked up the word shaken used here. It means “a motion made by winds, waves and storms” or “shaking something’s contents” or to “overthrow”. Pick your favorite but in each case you will find that the point of “shaken” is that a power beyond our selves kicks in and we are no longer in control.

This kind of prayer is begging God with all our heart until we pray beyond our control. I’m ready for more than the idea of that kind of a prayer life. How about you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hidden In The Love Chapter

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

Browsing through the love chapter I spotted this illustration Paul uses that is often overlooked. An illustration is often a common truth that everyone reading or hearing it can readily understand. Well, almost everyone. Let me tell you about this truth in my life before I get to the punch line.

In my junior year of High School I participated in Close Up. This is a group that learns history together then travels to Washington D.C. to see the real deal, Whitehouse, Congress, Pentagon and assorted beuracracies. I remember being under the mistaken concept that by the questions I asked government would suddenly change and become rational overnight. I also remember being a smart Alec. I would ask questions with a hateful tone and refuse to accept answers to those questions which were complex but I viewed as simple. I also asked questions at the wrong places. This morning I realized that two of the questions I asked were actually good questions just addressed to the wrong people. The one I asked my Representative should have been asked at the Pentagon while the one I asked at the Pentagon should have been asked on Capitol Hill. (I cannot explain why, after 26 years, I woke up this morning and thought about this.)

The truth behind this is I thought, spoke and acted like a child. I have since grown up. That is the same general truth Paul appeals to here. This brings me to my point. Some of us have never grown up. We still think, speak and act as children when maturity should be the order of the day. While childlike faith is commended by Jesus the Bible never commends immature actions.

Now before I finish casting this broad range of stones at others let me admit that I too sometimes slip back into childishness. My thoughts, words and deeds fall short of the maturity mark expected of a follower of Christ. I will endeavor to be a man today. I purpose to let my thoughts, words and actions be those of an adult believer.

How about you?

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