Sunday, September 25, 2011

Purpose in Prayer....

Living in a country with deficient libraries brings me to my old books on the shelf. One of my traits, good or bad, is the non-love of reruns! If I see a movie, I don't need a DVD to rewatch it. If I read a book my custom is to shelve it or give it away. Since being in Jamaica from lack of bookstores and libraries, I find myself walking to my bookshelf quite often and checking out those old treasures!

Funny thing..I volunteer at Renee's school and work in the library. It is a room full of antique books unfortunately. This week the librarian asked me to start sorting! Throw out all the old books. Now that is something I can handle! Only thing is I found myself throwing more than I was keeping. Books from the early nineteen hundreds. Found many from the thirties and forties. I thought ok this is gonna be fun! I was especially interested to see which book I could find from 1914 (when the A/G was founded) then after that one, I was especially interested to find one from my in-laws year, 1919. Then I got excited about finding one from 1956, my year! It was a cool day looking at the relics. I read pages before I would toss them. So interesting the words chosen, the style written, the author's take on the subject. I really pondered over which year to begin the "Keep" pile. I chose 1970. Anything before that I threw in the rubbish pile. When the librarian came to check on my progress she asked, "what have you decided on?" When I told her 1970 she looked at me really strangely. After she left I thought, oh man, she probably thought why 1970 they are old too, she was probably born in the late eighties! But for me 1970 was just a couple of years ago, wasn't it?!

So back to my subject! I am re-reading E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) book on prayer. He was a powerful writer and I learn something each time I read the book. Is there ever a day when you don't have to way. Just when you think everyone is doing okay you receive another prayer need via facebook or a phone call. It is a subject that we as christians will never tire of. We can't. It is our mission. It is our mandate. It is our life. Praying 24/7.. sometimes with words, sometimes with tears, sometimes with thoughts, it doesn't matter how, it just matters.

E.M.Bounds writes a story that makes me pause.

"A friend of mine in Cincinnati had preached his sermon and sank back in his chair, when he felt impelled to make another appeal. A boy at the back of the church lifted his hand. My friend left the pulpit and went down to him, and said, "Tell me about yourself." The boy said, "I live in New York. I am a prodigal. I have disgraced my father's name and broken my mother's heart. I ran away and told them I would never come back until I become a Christian or they brought me home dead." That night there went up from Cincinnati a letter telling his father and mother that their boy had turned to God.

Seven days later, in a black-bordered envelope, a reply came, and it read, "My dear boy, when I got the news that you had received Jesus Christ, the sky was overcast; your father was dead." Then the letter went on to tell how the father had prayed for his prodigal boy with his last breath, and concluded, "You are a Christian tonight because your old father would not let you go." (page 82)

Our purpose...pray.
Our people enough to take their needs as if they are our own.
Our purpose...pray about everything and everyone.
Our purpose...make prayer a priority rather than a last resort.

Prayer....not letting the prodigal go.....

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