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Wide Eyed Rooster     From My Utmost for His Highest
Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing . . . ? —Genesis 18

Can you be a friend without speaking or listening? Well…

EXCERPTED FROM A Rooster Once Crowed: A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told
  Afterword-Questions from the Front (pgs. 194-196):

Mountains have been written on prayer. We teach our children to begin praying when they are young, but what is prayer’s purpose?

If you view prayer as an opportunity to tap into God’s power to serve you, then not only is prayer frustrating, but it’s boring. The purpose of prayer is not to conform God to our will, but to . . . 

. . . submit our hearts to God’s will.

Matthew 6 holds the Lord’s Prayer and the way that Jesus taught us to pray. Look at each of the verses and roll them over in your mind. In verse 9, Jesus instructs the listener how to pray and says, “Our Father…”

These two words have moved mountains for me. Not only is Jesus reaffirming His relationship to God, but He is pulling you and me and mankind up into brotherhood with Him and sonship with God. It is incredible.

Does that matter to you?

We’ve talked [earlier in the book] about how everlasting life and the Kingdom of God is something that most of the world yearns for out of their oppression. Do you really care whether you wake up tomorrow in your house or within the Kingdom of God?

We’ve talked about how love can power our obedience to the Law. Do you really care whether you are on the field for God or are you good with nosebleed seats?

We’ve talked about how God gave us belief. Do you really see God providing your provision or does your labor feed your family?

We talked about repentance [certainly in the book, but also in Tuesday’s post]. How much are you willing to give up to move closer to God? Are you willing to make a change today—even a small change—in light of that day when you will stand in front of Christ? Will you drop everything because of the sacrifice that Jesus made? Will you pick up anything?

How long should we pray, anyway? When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He prayed for only a few seconds—and even said He’s only praying so that others will know God did it and not Him.

But in Gethsemane, as we just saw, Jesus prayed through the night and until morning. Read Matthew 26 again, closely. I used to remember Him asking for God to take the suffering away, but that’s not what He did. He didn’t pray like I would have prayed, asking for relief or escape.

He prayed for God’s will to be done. He prayed that His will would be conformed to God’s will. He prayed.

This is harder than it looks. Try praying with someone that is dying or sitting with someone who is jobless or homeless and being OK with God’s will being done. God wants to know our requests, but when we can look at our menu of requests and truthfully say, “I’ll have what He’s having,” we receive God’s true gift here on earth: Peace.

Andy Stanley, a nationally recognized pastor in Atlanta, said, “The length of your prayers should be determined by how long it takes you to get to the place where you can say, with all your heart and all of your soul and all of your strength, ‘Thy will be done,’ even if I hate it.

Start there. It may take a lifetime, but syncing our hearts with God’s heart is the purpose of prayer. [You Could Tweet]

I love you.


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