Oh, You’re Just Praying, Part 2

Yesterday’s post ended a bit strongly when I wrote:

Maybe one of the reasons we feel so week, vulnerable, and helpless is because our prayers have become pathetic little whimpers whispered quickly so we can get on with what really interests us.

After thinking about it, I stand by what I wrote.

Churches are busy with many good activities such as deep Bible studies, delicious potlucks, life-changing support groups, and more. We study and meet together to build better marriages, be better parents, improve our finances (for the sake of the kingdom, mind you), improve our self-esteem (so we see ourselves as God sees us), we study how to pray, we talk about how we should serve others, we support one another as we break free from addictions, and we discuss ways to share our faith.

Without doubt, such activities are “good”. They have their place and they are needed.

But I can’t help notice that we Christians don’t have any more success with our marriages than non-believers. Our debt loads are still overwhelming. We sure have our share of emotional problems; and we’re just as addicted to drugs, food, and illicit sex as our neighbors.

If anything, these things have gotten worse over the years.

In his book, “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire,” Jim Cymbala raises similar concerns. He says the church has slowly shifted from being a “house of prayer” to a house of discussion among ourselves (my words, not his). We have more classes, more programs, more seminars, more videos, more retreats, more study, more discussion. . . and less prayer.

What if we took the time we spend talking to one another about stronger marriages, less debt, better mental health, greater evangelism, etc. and devote it to talking to God about these things?

Great question.


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