Saturday, July 5, 2008

Preparing for Camp

Next week is Boy's Camp at Bates Creek. As I was thinking over some things that would be good to meditate on concerning this week, and I was reading through a book that I have been pushing through for a few months now. This book is a good read and I would suggest it to everyone. It is entitled, "The Heart of Prayer - What Jesus Teaches Us" by Jerram Barrs, Professor at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

As I was thinking about the task that is set before us, here is a quote from the book that really spoke to me. He is speaking here about the High Priestly Prayer from John 17.

Jesus is showing us in the clearest possible way that our work in God's kingdom will be ineffective without our prayer for the Father to accomplish his purposes through his blessing on all we do. He is showing us that our attempts to teach the Word will fail unless we pray that the Father send the Spirit to render them powerful and effective. AS will our teaching of our own children at home, our teaching in our churches or any other kind of teaching ministry, our leading of worship, our music and our singing, our visiting, our serving, and our hospitality.

By the example of his High Priestly Prayer, Jesus is teaching us that in all the things we do, it is not enough to be busy for the Lord, not enough to be active in doing his work, not enough to be committed to teaching his Word. In addition to the work we do, we are always to bed the Lord to do his work in people's hearts and minds. For without his work, without his blessing, all our labors will be in vain.

This is why Acts records that the apostles devoted themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer. In fact, the text reverses the order--the apostles said:

We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4)

Our ministry is to e prayer and the ministry of teaching; prayer and the ministry of serving; prayer and the ministry of music; prayer and the ministry of singing; prayer and the ministry of hospitality; prayer and the ministry of giving; prayer and the ministry off...You complete the sentence! All of us whatever our service to the Lord and to his people, are called to recognize that all our devotion and everything else we do will accomplish nothing unless we turn to the Lord in prayer, and unless the Lord blesses our efforts and establishes the labors of our hands.

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