Monday, July 28, 2008

Prayer and the Sovereignty of God

Last week, while doing some other research on the topic of prayer, I found this article. It was written by Pastor John Piper in January of 1976, It happens to be a rather compact article on how to approach the topic of prayer from a Reformed/Calvinist position. It does address the questions of:

1) If God has predestined some to eternal life, why evangelize since they are going to believe anyway?

2) If God has predestined some to eternal life, why pray for the salvation of someone who has not come to the Lord yet?

I present this in keeping with a balance of teaching about prayer. That is why you will find quotes/links from numerous individuals in the Christian mainstream regarding prayer. While you might not be a big fan of Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Murray, A.W. Tozer and others whose work has been cited in this blog, it is my hope that you can gain further insight into prayer and the motivation to deepen your walk of prayer with God in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Busyness - Part 2

Are we too busy for God? Are YOU too busy to cultivate your relationship with God?

In my last blog entry, I asked this of us. How do the schedule we keep and the priorities we hold affect areas of our relationship with God such as prayer? I believe that God has placed us where and when we are to be able to find Him and live a life of relationship with Him (see Acts 12:26-27 for a biblical basis for this belief). If this is so, our circumstances will never be such that a life of prayer becomes an impossibility. In other words, there is the time and occasion to pray.

But why do our priorities become so skewed? One answer is that we are willing to accept or be satisfied with little in the spiritual realm but not satisfied in the physical realm. A great exploration of this is found in an article by Dr. Micheal Zigarelli. In the article "Too Busy for God" (link here), Dr Zigarelli uses the small Old Testament prophecy of the book of Haggai to make a profound case regarding our busyness.

In prophecies which can actually be dated right down to the exact calendar date, God spoke to the remnant of Israel who were living back in the land after the exile in Babylon. They had started to build a new temple in Jerusalem. Yet, the project was stopped for political reasons. The delay last 16 years. God used Haggai to get the people to resume the building of the temple.

Over those 16 years, the people were satisfied to have an incomplete house of God in their midst while they busied themselves with their own paneled houses. The people's priorities became inverted. The desire for the building of their own houses took assumed priority over doing the building of the temple. The question was not asked: "when can we resume buidling?"

Dr Z accurately parallels that case with our own. There is both a corporate and individual sense in which we, as believers, are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3.16 [Group]; 1 Corinthians 6.19 [Individual]). Have we allowed the building of God's house within us to be put on hold while we pursue our own priorities first?

Please read Dr. Z's article. I think you will find it gets to the point quite well: Are we too busy for God?