Taking a Pause

As we continue in our new teaching series, A Fresh Start, we are examining yet another of the basic spiritual disciplines that all followers of Jesus need to be incorporating into their lives. This time it’s prayer. Like engaging with the Scriptures, prayer is basic. It is a foundation stone. It is one of those things we must get in place before we can do just about anything else. Let’s spend a few minutes thinking about why and how.

Taking a Pause

Have you ever been busy? Heh. How about, when was the last time you weren’t busy? Maybe the 13th of last Neveruary? We live in a busy world, don’t we? There’s always something to do. Even when there’s nothing to do, there’s still something to do. That’s the story of our household. Even when we don’t have any work to do, there’s still laundry to wash and laundry to fold and laundry to put away and bathrooms to clean and clothes to pick up and clutter to disperse and floors to vacuum and Nerf bullets…so…many…Nerf bullets to collect and Legos to build and the list goes on. Then there’s the list of things we actually want to do. It never stops. I don’t know about you, but some days I feel like the only real time I get to stop and breathe while I’m awake is when I’m in the shower. I’ll just about drain our hot water heater some days because that’s protected space. I can’t do anything for anybody else and I’m digitally disconnected which, for me, is even more important.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 2:5-7

“Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts: ‘Why does he speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Have you ever prayed for someone else? I suspect you have. Even as our culture seems to grow more secular all the time, a sizable majority of people still claim prayer is something important in their lives in some form or fashion. And when we pray, we pray for ourselves, yes, but we also pray for others. But do those prayers really accomplish anything? Can they? We don’t necessarily get an answer to that question here, but we get some important evidence that prayer just may be a whole lot more powerful than we imagine.

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Morning Musing: Habakkuk 3:2

“Lord, I have heard the report about you; Lord, I stand in awe of your deeds. Revive your work in these years; make it known in these years. In your wrath remember mercy!”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do we pray at such a time as this? How do we call on the Lord? Chaos seems to reign and the news doesn’t feel like it is getting any better. For every step forward it seems we take, there are more steps back than we can count. Anxiety is building. Fear is rising. What do we pray at such a time as this?

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Digging in Deeper: James 5:17-18

“Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

We’ve been digging pretty deep into prayer the last few days. What James says in these few verses is really powerful stuff. Of all the things he has said that have been hard to get our minds around, this last part here takes the cake. James tells us here just how much power is available to us when we pray. Are you ready for this? 

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Morning Musing: James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do people get sick? Most folks today are going to turn toward a medical answer and stop there because it’s easier. People get sick because of a bacteria or a virus or a genetic flaw. Sometimes it’s simply bodily wear and tear. That settles most of the reasons, right? Well, that depends on the kind of answer you’re looking for. James here says there’s at least one more we need to consider. It’s really uncomfortable by itself, but its immediate context makes it even worse. 

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