If you could, take time to read this.
Man. This is overdue. Not even sure where to begin. I won the presidency and I told you all I wanted a change. It's a week and a few days later and I think most of us have recovered from the excitement of the ACL, so here we are.
Why this topic? Because why not and I also have a few points to go off of here. I remember first making this topic and one thing I wrote was this:
I can't speak for everyone, but I feel for myself that that statement has been tested. I find that it's even hard to pray at times. I tell my friends that they'll be in my thoughts and prayers, but what ends up happening? I get caught up in the excitement of life or at the very least I'll just shoot up a quick, rushed prayer. Where's the fire for the Lord in all that?
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with "small prayers". In my point of view, I think God likes hearing any prayer as long as you are praying and being sincere. But then I think that, and it starts to become sort of a chore and I get lax and start praying short, watered down prayers, knowing full well I can take more time to work on it. But how does one find a healthy balance? The same starts to carry over with my bible reading. Where does it differentiate from just reading a book to a relationship?
Here's where I'm at (and you might be saying the same thing to yourself). I want the change. I want the more. I want the fire. How do I get it? By making a start. I sometimes think, "Oh, yeah. Tomorrow will be different" or "Next week I'll start reading better". If you're like me, you know that doesn't work. You stay in the same rut and life just keeps on going and you stay in that constant loop.
So what am I doing? I'm calling out to you: the fighters. I am (but in all reality, we are) not in this alone. Why do we back up to a corner in the ring and let the devil keep taking swings, landing his punches and blows left and right? We've got the greatest "coach", Jesus, and the two greatest "gloves" which are the word and prayer.
I'm thinking about Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) and it says:
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
God's with us guys. I don't think that verse is saying "if you pray by yourself, I'm not going to be with you". I think it's implying that there is so much power behind the body of Christ when we get together and pray for the impossible to happen or things that seem difficult or everyday help we need. Why do we just shoot up half-hearted prayers of "Oh, Lord. If you want to do this in my life..." when we know full well we can go to God boldly, asking for Him to show us and make a way when there seems to be no way? He can do that. I've experienced that in my own life and I can testify that it is true! Yet still somehow... I let the doubts and fears and unbelief keep me from progressing in this area of my walk.
It's time for that to end and it's time for us to take a stand! No more giving in! Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'm not logging on a game, I'm not checking a score, I'm not going to start thinking every thought that floods my mind. I'm going to get on my knees and make it a goal to pray for 15 minutes. That might seem like a lot to some of you, and to other, that might seem a little. Some of you might not even be experiencing this issue. But I challenge each and every one of you whether you do or you don't: Do this with me. If you want to do more time, go for it. If you struggle doing 15, fight the devil when he says "in the long run, what is this worth?" Keep on going. Remember, God isn't going to judge you if you don't make it all the way, but give it your very best. It's what He sees in the heart that matters.
Back to this topic: I thought about this a little and it's kind of interesting. This topic has been open for almost 6 years, longer than Random Anything or Talk All You Want. How many secondary topics of prayer or bible reading or other biblical stuff have been made? None. That's no blame on anyone. It's easy to get caught up in the festivities, but I think it's time for that to change. I can't do it alone. I need you guys. Who is with me?
I'm going to take note of every prayer request I see here from now to the time I go to bed and I'm going to attempt to pray for all of them right when I get up.
I also have a prayer request. For the longest time, I struggled with a specific sin and addiction. I know everyone has that specific thing that seems to loom over them. It's the greatest feeling in the world when you can be free from it. I finally was able to confess it and for a large chunk of time, I was able to live freely and I thank God for how far He's brought me through. Over time and due to previous events, my own defenses are starting to crumble as the devil has been taking shot after shot trying to get me to cave. Please pray that I keep clinging to God and give it all to Him. That's the only way. Please pray that I keep standing strong again the evil one.
Thank you, guys. Let's do this.