“Pray without Seeing?”

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Okay, so maybe I’m slurring a pun here, but let’s pause and think about it. How often is the exhortation from Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing” (NKJV), glibly said? Oh, we may pray without ceasing, but alas, often it is more praying without seeing, isn’t it? 

I’m reminded of Elijah, especially because we have been praying for rain now for some time. And as of this writing there has been no rain in the valley…yet. Elijah prayed without seeing, didn’t?

Let’s look again at 1 Kings 18:41-46. In this passage we are reminded that it had not rained for over 3 years and apparently the time for drought was ending. So, Elijah “bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees,” and prayed (1 Kings 18:42 NIV84). Then he told his servant, not once, not twice, but seven times to check for rain. Surely some time passed between each investigation, wouldn’t you agree? And all the while Elijah continued praying without seeing. (His face was against his knees, right?)

The obvious question arises concerning our praying for rain. In anticipation of the answer I put the gutters down, even washed my windows, but I haven’t washed my car yet. And still no rain. I have had to ask myself, “how’s my praying without seeing coming?” Have I grown weary in praying… and not just for rain? The inventory was telling …. 

Would you join me in continuing to “pray without seeing”? Maybe we can be an encouragement to each other? Beginning Wednesday, September 16, I am starting a once a month prayer-walk. We will meet at the church and begin there in our praying without seeing. See you there 7:00 pm?

Peace,

Coach Mike

“Let Us Love One Another”

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Our Lord’s most intimate teaching and, in essence, His last “Command,” is found in what is commonly called the Upper Room Discourse. He is about to be savagely treated, but He made time to wash His disciples’ feet, eat with them, and encourage them:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-45 NIV84)

The Son of Thunder, who has become the Beloved Disciple, echoes this in 1 John 4:7-8:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7–8 NIV84).

And this Love is not syrupy, but substantial: Unconditional, Sacrificial and Other Centered:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV84).

So why is Loving one another so important? One simple answer is because the world is going to hate us. It hated Jesus, so why are we so surprised (see John 15:18)? Our Lord is telling us, “You are all you have so try to get along.” How are we doing?

Peace,

Coach Mike