Why I Don’t Pray

Read your Bible and pray everyday…
Pray every day…
Pray every day…
Read your Bible and pray everyday…
And you will grow grow grow.

So the children’s Sunday school song goes, and it is blessed, wonderful advice. I wish I had headed it growing up. I wish I headed it more. The song is true to its core. We will grow if we pray and study the word every day. Consider the giant of the faith George Müller, who sustained a ministry of the word and caring for tens of thousands of orphans for over 60 years, without any income, and without ever asking anyone for a single pence, (This was the 1800’s in Britain) but simply prevailed upon God in prayer to supply all of his needs, and the needs of his 2000 dependents and all the staff according to His great riches.

Such a life demonstrates the truth of James 5:16, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (ESV)

And yet, I don’t pray. At least not near as often as I should.

But why don’t I pray? What is wrong with my heart that causes me not to pray, not to pour over the word on my knees in search of great promises to build my life on?

I offer some possibilities:

1. The Sin of Unbelief

I must be willing to admit that a big aspect is simply the sin of unbelief. I don’t trust God as I should. I am inclined to find so many other things to trust in before I trust in the living God. My job, my health, my church, my own abilities. How foolish this is! I must repent of my unbelief and turn to God in prayer.

2. The Sin of Pride

Clearly following from the first is something that undergirds my unbelief, which is my own self-sufficiency. If I could just work a little harder, if I could just do a little better, if I could just _____ then I would be ok, more at peace, happier,

I must remember that God hates the proud, (Proverbs 6:17) and God opposed the proud. (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6)

I must remember that I really am insufficient for “such things”. Which brings me to point 3, what “such things”?

3. The Purpose To Which I am Orienting My Life

And by orienting my life, I mean today, when I wake up, what purpose am I engaged in? What am I to set about to do today? A life can’t be lived, only days, hours and moments. Right now, this instant what am I setting out to do?

Am I caught up in the pursuit of worldly pleasures and joys? A clean house, a fit body, a tasty meal. Is it a life lived inward seeking some happiness in trivialities?

Or is it a life lived Godward, seeking his glory and pleasure? Is it a life lived outward in love to neighbour, seeking his eternal joy together with mine in knowing God? This is the life of true happiness, for this is eternal life. (John 17:3)

If it is the latter, then it is clear that I am truly insufficient for “such things”. For if I am to know God, then I must first be known by God, (Gal 4:9, Rom 8:29) and if I am to see others come to know God, I must realize that I am nothing, but God is the one who gives the growth. (1 Cor 3:7)

And that brings us back to where we started, “Read your Bible and pray everyday, and you will grow grow grow.”

So for me it is clear I must repent of unbelief and pride, so integrally connected, but even deeper, I must be about the Lord’s work each and every day, fulfilling the purpose to which I was created: to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Then in realizing my absolute inability to accomplish such a purpose, perhaps I will turn to the the only two things I have at my disposal for such a task: the Word of God, and prayer.

Lord today, in this moment make me about the work to which you have called me, to so live and act as to magnify Christ by showing him to be an absolutely  sufficient treasure, so valuable it makes the treasures of this life appear as garbage in comparison, and complete my joy by bringing others into that enjoyment with me, by the power of your Spirit, in the name of your Son I pray.


Why You Exist

The Psalmist said:

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

At first glance we say, “David, that is 3 things! Dwell, gaze, and meditate (inquire). Learn to count!” But we should not dismiss David as mathematically inept. He did in fact grab 5 stones from the river before killing Goliath, as legend has it Goliath had 4 brothers.

But in fact this is indeed one thing… for the purpose of the dwelling and the meditating is to gaze. To look at the beauty of the Lord. We should hear the words of our Lord echoing David to Lazarus’ sisters:

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, (the new “temple” of worship – John 4) and to gaze at his beauty. Is this not what Jesus also meant when he said to the rich young ruler:

 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

How sad that he did not respond to the love of God, but went away sad because he didn’t want to give up treasures on earth, for the most valuable treasure in heaven: the radiance of the glory of God! (Hebrews 1:3) Surely this is what Paul had discovered when God was pleased to reveal the Son to him (Galatians 1:16) in blinding light on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3) This is why he wrote:

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

We know from verse 8 that his goal here is to attain Christ… Who is the exact representation of the Father. To see Christ is the very definition of salvation (2 Corinthians 4:6) because to see ultimate beauty is to be changed forever. Once you see God, why would you look to anything else?

And isn’t this what Philip was intuitively expecting to happen when he made his request of Jesus at the last supper? 

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

To which Jesus responded (I think in a loving tone, not a rebuking tone…)

“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:8)

To see Jesus is to see the Father, because the Son is the radiance of the source, the exact imprint of the nature of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3) So David longed to see our day (Matthew 13:7) where by with the new faculty of spiritual sight given to us by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13), we can see the Son of the Father, and seeing him with unveiled faces, be transformed by him, from one degree of glory to another. (2 Corinthians 3:18). Thus when we ask God, as Moses did on Sinai, to “show us your glory”, God speaks (the Word – see John 1:1) and the content of that word is sovereign mercy and grace:

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. (Exodus 33:19)

And now that grace has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. (Titus 2:11) So again we see the fullness of God’s glory (his grace and mercy) expressed in the person of Jesus Christ.

So whoever is reading this, I beg you as the hymn says, to turn your eyes upon Jesus, and to look full, in his wonderful face. And I promise that the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.

Thus the centre of the Christian faith can be defined in 3 simple words that sum up what this “one thing” is:

Look to Jesus

The 5 Words Jesus Never Said

The funniest statements are often the most profound:

We were having dinner years ago, and laughing and having a good time as a family. My youngest brother got “snarky” about something towards my dad, which I’m sure my dad deserved in part. It was all good family dinner time fun. As a retort to my brother’s witty comment, my dad responded with the 5 funniest words I have ever heard, because they seemed so true:

“Shut up… I made you!”

Which is so funny, because it is so true, and yet so false…

Fast forward 10 years to me on Skype with a student, proctoring a quiz for interim marks, and I see this statement on his T-shirt:

Life isn’t about finding yourself
Life is about creating yourself

How nice that sounds. Go make your own destiny. Be whoever you want to be. You can do it! Follow your dreams!

What a profound lie… what a serpent-eden lie.

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Who are you?

1 Day.
3 Questions.
3 Posts:

Who is God?
Where is Christ?
Who am I?

Do you know who you are?

I do!

Here is a little bit of it:

I am…

A gospel centred
Tongue talking, Spirit Filled Pentecostal
Who is reformed in his theology

And who’s favorite worship leader is a  Canadian Charismatic Catholic!

And this is all due to me being a…

Treasure/Pleasure seeking Christian hedonist.

My treasure is Christ.
My pleasure is to put him on a pedestal in everything I do…
To show how beautiful He is to the world!!!

So that’s me… there I am…

So now the 3rd question…

Who are you?

Ask, and it will be given to you…

Love your neighbour as… yourself?

How do I love myself?

I seek my own happiness.

That is the fundamental state of the human heart… We are seeking:

Seeking joy
Seeking peace
Seeking justification

Wanted is love

This can only be found in the first commandment… Love God with all your heart soul and mind.

This is where I had it profoundly wrong…

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His Mercies are New Every Morning!

All the books in the world couldn’t contain what he has done, because everything in this world is a result of God’s grace through Christ Jesus.

I am flabbergasted by how much God is doing in my life. There are 2 reasons whyI don’t post 3 times a day:

  1. Because I don’t want to annoy people with too many posts…
  2. And God is doing so much in the day, He often doesn’t allow me the time to sit down and write it all out!

Which at one point was starting to really bother me…

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