Monday, March 28, 2011

Am I missing it?

It seems in Christianity that there are two groups, so to speak, with regard to the word of God and prayer. We have one group who is all about the word, theology, and reading good books. Then we have another group who prays, but who care nothing about truth, doctrine, or theology. I don’t think any Christian would deny that those two spiritual disciplines are extremely important. Nobody can expect to be a fruitful Christian without daily being nourished in the word of God and prayer. For myself, I fall into the doctrine extreme. So often I spend all of my time reading, but not much praying. This is not good. Even though reading Bible, studying Bible, and reading good books are all good if I neglect prayer I am going to be unbalanced.  

I remember watching a short video of someone interviewing Paul Washer. The interviewer asked Paul what the dangers are facing the recent movement of young reformed Christians. He basically said that he applauds these young Christians for being series about truth, doctrine, and living out their faith in the context of 2000 years of Christian history. But he went on to say that the purpose of studying truth is to know God. It is to point us to Jesus and show us who Jesus is. He went on to say that most of the older men that he has talked to had regrets not that they did not study enough, but that they did not pray enough. I am afraid that if I continue in the state that I am right now, I will say the same thing.

We don’t have to read very much of Scripture or of godly men in Scripture to realize that prayer is so, so important.  Daniel prayed three times a day, Paul devoted himself to prayer, Elijah hid himself away to pray, and of course Jesus prayed many times in Scripture.

Not only do we have the example of men in Scripture, we have church history to look back to as well. We find the same thing, the godliest men and women we’re people who spent much time in prayer. Martin Luther prayed three hours a day, David Brainerd was much in the prayer closet, and Jonathan Edwards, the great philosopher and theologian, prayed much.

All of this to say, am I missing it? Am I missing one of the most important if not the most important means of grace? 

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