Dear First Pres,
"They devoted themselves ... to prayer" (Acts 2:42). This verse was part of my devotional reading this morning, and it grabbed me. Prayer wasn't the only thing they were devoted to, but it's the one that stuck out to me this morning. As you probably remember, in the midst of the devotion of these early believers God was doing amazing things! Verse 43: "Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles." And, verse 47b: "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
As I reflected on those verses, my initial response and prayer was for me. "Father, please help me to be devoted to prayer." But then, since these verses describe a congregation, my prayer switched to FPC. "Father, make us a congregation devoted to prayer."
Last night I was meeting with my Discipleship Group. The focus of the curriculum was the reality that God has created us to be in an intimate and surrendered relationship with Him. Two of the primary ways we grow in that relationship are through prayer and Scripture.
Sometimes we think about prayer as a way to get stuff done. That's not wrong, per se, but it's also not complete. Prayer is one of the primary ways we nurture our relationship with God. In prayer, we listen for God's voice and direction. In prayer we give praise to God, we repent of our sin, we put all our petitions before Him with thanksgiving, and we surrender our lives to Him. In other words, prayer isn't meant to only be transactional; it's meant to primarily be relational.
How would you categorize your prayer life today? Have you devoted yourself to prayer? Is your prayer more transactional or relational? What do you think would change in our congregation if all of us were truly devoted to knowing the Father's heart through prayer?
The wonderful news is that God continues to graciously invite us into that relationship again and again. Even when we drift away, God, in His mercy, invites us back into His presence. Like the Father of the prodigal in Luke 15, God welcomes us home with grace and joy and celebration when we come back to Him. So, my prayer for FPC today is that we will devote ourselves to prayer (individually and corporately) so that we might know the Father more intimately.
Finally, don't forget that every Friday morning (except the day after Thanksgiving), a group of FPCers gathers for prayer. We start at 6:30 am in the Commons (done at 7:15) and we'd love for you to join us.