July 4th is a noisy annual extravaganza of fireworks in America. It’s embedded in our national psyche as our birth day – our Independence Day. By contrast September 14th this year came and went quietly, even though it marked an event of equal if not greater import. It was our GFC staff’s “Dependence Day” – a day of prayer. Even in a church environment, prayer can become an emergency procedure, a response we resort to when all else fails. That is why we choose to intentionally set aside time every year to practice prayer corporately as a staff.
A mere portion of one day is a small thing. But it is a huge statement of the heart that declares our desperate need for God, whether we truly realize it or not.
At the end of a long day of teaching on the shore of Galilee, Jesus told his men that he wanted to go over to the other side of the sea. The account contains some hidden humor that we can easily miss. As Mark 4:36 puts it, “They took Him along with them in the boat.”
You’re tired, Jesus. We’ve got this covered. We are professional fishermen. You’re in good hands. You just get some rest. Nothing could possibly go wrong. We’ve got this.
Well, it did go wrong. “There arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.” (verse 37) Whoops! Now it was crisis time, time to awaken Jesus – time to pray.
Actually, every day is a crisis day when you think about it. We teeter on that fragile edge that separates boring routine from complete disaster. Our need for God is total, not partial. Thus we need time to pull aside for prayer and affirm our declaration of dependence.
Prayer is so much more than confessing our need for God’s lovingkindness. It is in prayer that we actually draw near to our Creator in personal conversation. Ever since Adam and Eve were chased out of the Garden, we’ve missed the wonder of unhurried time in God’s presence. Such prayer time is cleansing, rejuvenating, energizing, healing.
The future is upon us. In our nation, our church family, and in our individual lives. Who knows what fierce gales await us? When it comes to life – yes, common ordinary daily life - we’re in over our heads. How good to know we can talk to the One who can command the storm to be still!
Get the fireworks back out. It’s time to declare our dependence.
Larry Nees, GFC Equipping Pastor
Posted on Tue, September 20, 2016
by Grace Fellowship Church