John Wesley—the originator of Methodism—once commented: “I don’t think much of ministers who don’t spend at least four hours in prayer each day.” Wow, I am going to have to advance a few things in my prayer life! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is only three words: “Pray without ceasing.” Jesus, the Son of God, prayed and prayed and prayed; why? He was the Son of God…why did He pray all the time? He wanted to commune with His Father. He wanted to be with Him constantly…even though Jesus says in John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” Jesus prayed. Why should we as Christians pray? One reason would be the same as: “Why do you spend a lot of time with the ones you love?” The more you love someone, the more time you want to spend with them, the more you want to know about them and the more intimate you want to be with them. Is that true about your relationship with God? Do you want to know everything about the One who created you? Or do you just want to be a casual acquaintance? God so desires us to draw nearer and nearer to Him each day so our lives will become more like Jesus Christ…God wants us to become more like His Son…to live the life God has willed for each and every one of us. Why would we want that? Because that is the most fulfilling life for us…but that will take all the fun out of life…really? That statement has always amused me. If you believe in God…believe Jesus Christ lived, died, was resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Father…fully human and fully divine…if you believe God created you to be you…if you admit you are only here because of Him…please get to know Him more and more each day. Your life will be more than you ever dreamed. This summer I ask you to spend an extra 5 minutes per day each month in prayer, so that by the end of August you will be spending at least 15 minutes per day in prayer. Will it be easy? Some days “yes” and some “no.” But I will give you a start. The following prayer is one that is said Mother Teresa prayed every day: Dear Jesus, Help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with Your Spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours. Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up, and see no longer me, but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine. It will be You, shining on others through me. Let me thus praise You in the way which You love best, by shining on those around me. Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You. And I pray this will draw you nearer to Christ and touch for Jesus Christ the lives of those you come in to contact with each and every day. Pray. In Christ<><Pastor Rick
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