Pray First, Pray Again
This past Sunday, Crossbridge began a season of 21 Days of Prayer. We are joining churches all over our country who are taking 21 days to form or reform a habit of seeking God first in prayer. Prayer has been called the most important thing we do as Christians. It is amazing to think about, that because of Jesus we have an audience with the creator of all things! That knuckleheads like me, because of the gospel, have God’s ear.
To be honest though there is nothing more alluring and attractive to me than growing in prayer, but at the same time I run from prayer. I run from prayer because of my sin. My sinful flesh doesn’t like to admit I can’t do it on my own. I seem to be allergic to regularly praying that His kingdom would come rather than just wishing my kingdom would come. I am so grateful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit that keeps drawing me back to Him. That the Spirit reminds me that it is in His presence where I find the fullness of joy.
Another reason I run from prayer is because of my unbelief. I believe God hears and answers prayer, but more than I care to admit, I feel like He doesn’t always hear and answer my prayer. Now to be fair, the answer to what I’m asking for may be “no”. As of today, I am still bald so I guess that is still a “no”.
Do you ever feel that way? You are praying for some big things and it looks like God is giving everyone else a perfect life on Facebook and Instagram, but He’s not paying any attention to me. There is a lot we can say about this attitude, but I would like to offer one point of encouragement to us.
What if you prayed again? I know you asked Him to give you that job, save that friend or whatever and it didn’t happen, BUT what if you prayed again? What if you asked Him again for that job, for that friend’s salvation or whatever big rock you are asking Him to move?
In 1 Kings 17 the prophet Elijah prays for a young boy who had died. Now death seems like the end, right? Not according to the Bible I read and the Jesus who it is about! Elijah goes and prays, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into Him again.” (1 Kings 17:21). The text tells us he did so three times. Three times! That means the first time nothing. The second time nothing. And this wasn’t some normal schmoe praying, but Elijah the prophet who was kind of a big deal (you should read about him in 1 Kings 17 &18). And this thought hit me as I was reading this story.... what if he had stopped after praying twice?
I mean c’mon, he prayed for a kid to be raised from the dead twice! That’s pretty gutsy and faith filled I think. It’s more than I ever prayed for someone to be raised from the dead! God’s plan though was that Elijah would ask three times. Why? I don’t know, maybe to stretch Elijah’s faith or to encourage ours. If Elijah had only prayed twice and got up and said “this isn’t God’s will”, who would blame him? But he prayed three times and “The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again and he revived.”
This story has made me stop and think “what have I only prayed twice for”? What big rock in my life have I asked God to move that I have only prayed for a few times? What about you? Maybe you have prayed more than twice, maybe you have prayed more times than you can count. Why not pray again? Who knows? Jesus even told a parable once to teach His disciples to pray always and not lose heart (Luke 18).
Pray again and don’t lose heart! We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. We don’t know how God has been working to bring all things together according to His purpose, so pray again. Ask again for the salvation of your loved one. Ask again for that healing, provision, and direction. Don’t lose heart, He is for you.
We gave out wrist bands this past Sunday that said “Pray First”. The last few days it has been a great reminder to pray. I kinda wish it said “Pray First. Pray Again” though.
Let’s keep praying Crossbridge. Let’s be a people who pray first, pray big and pray again!
Praying first and again with you!
PS: See-ya Sunday for Week 2 of “Starting Over”! It’s a great Sunday to invite someone!
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW!
JOIN US THIS SUNDAY AS WE CONTINUE OUR NEW SERIES
We all have regrets from the past. Many of them come from our attempts to fulfill unmet longings. Many of us get stuck in our regrets and seem unable to move forward. In this series, we will take a look at specific regrets, release them to God and learn to see regrets as an opportunity to start over.
God is big enough to redeem even our worst regrets. He can use everything for a greater good. Nothing needs to keep us from the joy and purpose God has for our lives!
WE CAN START OVER AND LIVE A LIFE BEYOND REGRET.
We have begun 2017 with a season of prayer. We have a prayer guide for all 21 Days and other resources HERE to help you grow in prayer.
PRAYER GATHERINGS (No Childcare)
January 25th - 6:00-7:00 am & 7:00-8:00 pm
January 28th - 9:00-10:00 am
COMMUNITY GROUP SIGN-UP I January 22 - All Services
We believe God wants us to grow personally by connecting relationally. Community Groups at Crossbridge exist to make life-changing relationships accessible to you. Sign-up for new groups begins January 22nd.
THE WEEKENDER I February 24-25
The Weekender is for anyone who wants to move beyond simply attending and connect meaningfully with Crossbridge. Go HERE for more information and to register.
NICARAGUA TRIP I March 10-16, 2017
We are excited to take a team to Nicaragua during Spring Break to serve with The Hope Project. We will work within community development initiatives including a nutrition program, an after-school program, community outreach, shoe distribution, literacy projects and much more. Visit HERE for details. A $200 non-refundable deposit is due by January 31st to reserve a spot.
BOLD Dashboard (3-1-15 TO DATE)
150 - # of First -Time Givers to Date
380- # of Total Givers to Date
$4,875,533- BOLD Generosity to Date
$6,075,442- Total BOLD Generosity Goal
Thank you for your generosity to Crossbridge as we honor God by making growing followers of Jesus Christ!
Share your BOLD story HERE!