The Core Values: Diligent Dialogue

Here is your friendly reminder to head over to Proverbial Thought for today’s devotional thought from the wisdom book!

Last month we looked at the Four Core Facts, and this last week we looked at the first Core Value, the desperate pursuit of God.  If you are interested in a more in-depth look at the Core Facts and the Core Values, look up my wonderful youth pastor, Jesse Bollinger, at Fervent Youth. Today’s entry also

Now for the second Core Value:

Diligent Prayer

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16

Jesus demonstrated diligent prayer. At one point, Jesus had to drive out a demon because His Disciples could not. When asked why they could not do it, Jesus “said to them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.’”

Jesus did not simply mean “if you fast and pray you can cast out all demons.” Jesus was saying it takes a life dedicated to prayer and fasting, to seeking out the will of God, to get to know God intimately.

I knew this man who once taught a group of us (and some of them told me this was in no way a new teaching of his) that the biggest reason we see so few miracles in the Church anymore is because of a lack of dedicated prayer and fasting within the Church. I have come to see how true this is.

Where is the love?

I have heard the excuses. Perhaps you have, too.

    • I am too busy to pray.
    • I am a person of action, not prayer.
    • When all else fails, pray.
    • God knows my thoughts, anyway.

I am too busy to pray

I have covered the topic of prayer before here and here.

I am a person of action, not prayer

Perhaps you have also heard the line “Without God, you are doomed to fail.” Why should God bless your work if you do not talk with Him about it? Why should He help you if you do not want to include Him from the beginning?

(He still can work through you, of course. Balaam is a great example of that!)

Perhaps they fail, because God has not been involved from the beginning! Is it really that important to you if you have not included God the entire time, as in from the beginning?

Why do we tend to wait until the last second to include God, to talk to Him about what is happening?

Does that work with kids? Ask most parents and teachers: you ask a child to do something once, there is no guarantee they will think to do it again later (which is why children need to be constantly reminded to clean their rooms, feed the dog, take out the trash, brush their teeth, or a myriad of other things).

How does this relate?

As humans, we seem to expect people to listen to us and do what we want and think the way we think … WHEN WE NEVER SAY ANYTHING! (We may never stop talking, but we rarely say anything.)

Why should God help us if we are not sharing with Him? He may know what we are thinking, but if we hold it back is that not like saying “Butt out!” That is a far cry from “I love you!”

Love the Lord your God

As I have said before, all of the Core points work together. We should pray, because we love God so much that we are desperately chasing Him.

Imagine getting your dream job. If you never talked with your boss, would you last long? (Unless, of course, you are self-employed)

(Ready for a tired argument that is oh, so true?)

Try being a friend, a husband, or a wife without ever communicating. It will never last. Your friend or spouse (or even you) will complain about not being loved … or even liked.

If you claim to love God, you should talk with Him.

Notice how I worded that:

We must talk with God.

Some time in the future I will share some of my own story on prayer, but the most important thing I have learned is that prayer is a conversation.

Conversations go two ways. To be diligent in prayer, we must be able to listen at least as much as we talk.

Therefore, we must learn to praise and petition, to read and to listen.

Diligent prayer means to first ask God to help us, to change us, to grow us.

Diligent prayer means to study the Bible to know what God has said.

Diligent prayer means to share our troubles.

Diligent prayer means to hear our teachers.

Diligent prayer means to tell God how great He is.

Diligent prayer means being quiet before our God.

Diligent prayer means listening … all the time.

Notice the first word: It takes diligence. This means practice, dedication, and passion.

If you are desperate for God, you will want to talk with Him and make very crazy requests.

Fall in love with God. Talk with Him. Often withdraw quiet places to be with Him.

See amazing things in your life.

Next week I will tackle the third Core Value: A Consecrated Heart

Thoughts? Concerns? Questions?

  1. September 18th, 2012
  2. September 25th, 2012
  3. October 2nd, 2012

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