Wednesday, April 06, 2011

TYPES OF PRAYING

OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS I have been facilitating a Sunday morning class utilizing the thought-provoking and challenging curriculum by Francis Chan called BASIC.  We have looked at the importance of fearing God and last week of following Christ, this week's lesson deals with the Person of the Holy Spirit. As with the previous lessons, this one also challenges my own personal comfort zone.  Thus, in many ways that is saying this is great stuff!

The video segment for this week, which deals with how Jesus told His followers to wait for the coming of the the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-8) and how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus Christ at Pentecost (Acts 2:1:1-41)

After I watched the segment I headed off to Walnut Creek to spend some time with my daughter, and as I was driving along the 680 Freeway my thoughts turned to the way the disciples were given to praying as they waited for the promised Holy Spirit.  (I suppose thinking about prayer while driving on the Bay Area freeways is not a bad thing to do, anyway.)

What grabbed my attention is that the disciples were regularly praying and waiting. If we hold to the idea that the Bible says Jesus spent 40 days walking around after His resurrection before His accession into heaven (Acts 1:10-11) and that the Holy Spirit came on the Jewish celebration of Pentecost, which would be 50 days after the Passover, then the disciples where meeting for at least 10 days, everyday for praying and waiting. I was struck by how we spend about 10 minutes praying about something...maybe even 30 minutes at a church business meeting if it's a really serious issue, and then we move forward. (Sure there are a few hearty souls who pray and fast for a long time, but most of us and our churches, it's more like perfunctory prayer and then rushing forward, rather than waiting for the rushing wind of the Spirit. Acts 2:1-4)

Anyway, while I was driving and praying (eyes open of course...I don't have that much faith) I thought about all the ways we pray...and here's my list: (I'll let you add in the details)


We pray prayers of:
Worry -- God help us for this big problem
Weeping -- for the our needs and the needs of others
Worship -- giving thanks and praise for who God is
All these are good and needed and even spoken of in the Bible, but the prayers we have difficulty with are the prayers of:
Watching -- Keeping our eyes open for the tongues of fire of the Spirit's Presence
Waiting -- Patiently listening for the wind of the Spirit's Power

These are the prayers we too often blow right by...not enough activity for us American Evangelicals. But maybe, just maybe, it would be worth the wait.  Sure, it may be a little scarey...but oh the results!



Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: