Recently my wife June and I went on a retreat to Galena, Illinois. Our primary goal for the weekend, aside from the importance of showing our love for each other, was to focus on the Prayer Ministry at New Covenant. Not even our little puppy, “Toby Mac,” was invited to come along.
June focused on the best use of her time and got started right away with her reading, note-taking and reflection. I got busy making a fire in the fireplace, and then walking outside to enjoy the view of Lake Galena, and then stacking more wood by the fireplace to keep the fire burning, and then … the morning was turning into the afternoon, and I still had not focused on opening my Bible or praying with Jesus.
HAVE I LOST MY FIRST LOVE?
During that afternoon, I read Revelation 2:24, where Jesus warns the believer in Ephesus, “I know your works, your labor and your endurance…you have grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have lost the love you had at first.” In a quiet moment I realized that, while I was working for the Kingdom, I was losing my passion for Him. Jesus was gently reminding me that the heart of my faith is my love for Him. It is like being married for 44 years to your spouse, and yet the business of life can overshadow the romance once enjoyed with each other.
ARE MY PRIORITIES OUT OF ORDER?
How we spend our time is a statement of our priorities. I read Luke 14:16-24, the parable of the banquet. It is the story of the three people who failed to show up to the banquet because they thought that they had more important things to do. Even though what they were doing seemed good and necessary their self-centered priorities obscured the great invitation they had received.
Jesus was lovingly telling me He wants to spend quality time with me. In my time of confession, I admitted that I am often too busy for Him - that He is not always my top priority. I asked for His forgiveness. Jesus with love was saying to me, “Bob, I do not want your leftovers, your token prayers, or just your spare time. I want your very best.”
ARE MY PRAYERS DRY?
I also realized that my prayers were dry that day. I was reminded in Isaiah 58:2-3 that I was not being truly open to God and that I still want to do as I please in certain areas of my life. God was also telling me that I have more confidence in my plans than what He is calling me to do. It was then that I asked for God’s forgiveness and told Him, “Jesus, I want what You want; I will do what You say. I do not want my ways over Your ways.” God was telling me to trust Him more deeply - to persevere and hold fast to my hope in Him.
TRUST IN JESUS
Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Jesus is telling June and me that He will answer our prayers, just as He will answer yours because He loves us and wants to guide us in every way. He is faithful, and He will do it! Jesus will give you rest!
What about you? How's your prayer life? Do you need to spend some time refreshing your first love of Jesus? As you enter that process, be assured of His desire to fellowship with you and guide you every step of the way.
And finally, if you have a need, we want to pray. How may June and I and the Prayer Team at New Covenant pray for YOU? Please let us know at email@example.com