Formed by prayer

This week's devotional is from Pastor Art Greco.

ENCOUNTER:

“Prayer is a formational experience.”

The more I think about that statement, the more I suppose most of us would agree with it. Unfortunately, however, the formation too many are thinking about is prayer’s assumed power to shape and reform not our minds and actions, but God’s. Read one opaque reference to a prayer by Moses actually causing God to “repent” of his decision to destroy his people and start over and, “BOOM!” we’re off to the races to manage God’s calendar and supervise his agenda.

There are at least a couple of obvious problems with that thinking:  1) none of us is Moses; and 2) that particular story is one that is attempting to describe a result more than prescribe a norm. In other words, prayer is not a transactional event, where we put in our order and God is obliged to deliver what we ordered.  No.  Rather, it’s a formational event, where we share out heart’s observations, fears, desires, needs, and complaints, then submit ourselves to the instructive hand of the one to whom we just prayed. God isn’t changed when we pray, WE are.

BE REFLECTIVE

Read and reflect on the following passages:

  • Exodus 32:11ff
  • Numbers 23:19
  • Hebrews 13:8
  • James 1:17

What explanation might we have of Moses’ experience in Exodus when we know that God is unchanging and not in need of our counsel?

BE A BLESSING

Think of a person you know who is somewhat “difficult” for you.  Might be a parent on you kid’s little league team, a coworker, or even a family member.

Got them in mind?  Now bless them by praying for them.  Pray not prayers of condemnation, though, but blessing.  Pray for their prosperity, their healing, and their good.  Pray that their hearts are warm toward Jesus.  Pray that their lives would be filled with peace and joy. 

Pray like crazy for them. Then watch not only how they are blessed, but also how you are formed. I’ve never done that where my “hatreds” weren’t softened, my resolve strengthened, and my heart set free

BE TOGETHER

Every Monday evening a small group of people gather at our church building to pray for each other and for Marin Covenant. Perhaps this would be a good week for you to join them.  They usually meet in the prayer room off the worship area at 7:00 p.m. It’s a warm and friendly gathering of people who will welcome you with open arms.  Contact Mike Nolan MandKNolan@yahoo.com for more information.