No one would argue that Christian service is important. Serving on committees and developing programs that help the church carry out its mission is vital. But we tend to be so activity-oriented that we often forget that the heart of Christianity is a relationship with a person, the person of Jesus Christ. This essential relationship often takes a backseat to our Christian service. Restoring this missing element in our prayer lives will rejuvenate us spiritually and enable us to carry on in our service to the Lord.
There is a lot of discussion today about burnout in the church. Among those who serve and care and give of themselves, there seems to be a point of breakdown. An exhaustion, physically and emotionally as well as spiritually, saps them of their strength to continue service. I believe that many of the problems relating to burnout can be overcome by a restoration of relationship in prayer. It is what we might call intimacy with God in prayer.
We are not the only ones who desire an intimate relationship. From Genesis to Revelation we read of a God who loves his people and desires to have fellowship with them. Since this is such an important matter to God, it also needs to be high on our list of priorities.
–Adapted from the article Prayer as Intimacy with God by Dave Butts. (Click on the title to read the rest of the article).
Lord Jesus, my busy life is dominating my time, sapping my energy and turning my heart towards things that are not life-giving to my spirit. Draw my heart back to Yourself and allow me to rest in Your Presence. Help me to turn to You more often in quiet moments. Show me how to seek You in the midst of the noise and busyness, as well as in the ordinary moments. I long to once again be filled with desire to commune with You in prayer, for it is there that my spirit finds life!
Praise God that he is completely trustworthy and that he has never failed anyone (Jn. 14:1-23). Thank God that Jesus Christ is preparing a place for you at this very moment. Confess any reluctance to trust God in everything. Commit yourself to living with your heart as Christ’s home. Ask the Lord to do great things through you in the power of the ascended Lord.
Ask that our society will respect the value of human life at every stage of life. Pray especially for people who today are making decisions about the life of another.
“Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.” —Philippe Melanchthon
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).