Doubt, dilemma, and the power of prayer

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Years ago I lived fairly close to a crazy charismatic Christian, have you ever met one?  This guy would sometimes come by and tell me about his “prophecies” from God.  At first it was kind of interesting to listen to, but it didn’t take long before it was just kind of weird.  I wasn’t sure if he was hearing from God or having psychotic episodes.  It didn’t take long before I just started avoiding him.

If I felt awkward around this guy as a Christian, I can’t imagine how people who don’t believe in God feel!  If he represents Christianity for the majority, people probably think we are nuts!

Since then I have ran into many more people with strong charismatic tendencies.  Most of them I have really struggled with.  I feel like they worship an experience, even manifest their own experiences sometimes rather than explore the vast riches of ancient truth.  Church from the outside looking in can appear to be a bunch of people drumming up emotions rather than seeking truth.

I may have overreacted–like a parent who was abused and now refuses to discipline their kids at all, or someone who has been through a divorce now proclaiming that all of the opposite sex is evil, or someone who can’t find a job after college now proclaiming that education is worthless.  I found myself in hot pursuit of God, passionately searching for purpose and truth, but with a bit of a cold shoulder to the supposed miraculous.

Two authors changed that.  Mark Batterson who wrote “The Circle Maker” and books by Wayne Cordeiro.   These are two charismatic people who seem to have their heads on fairly straight.  I never doubted that God could do something; I just figured that he probably wouldn’t.   I mean that is what usually happens right?!  We pray and God changes US, not the storm we are in.  So from an experiential practical perspective, prayer changes our perspective, not necessarily our situation.

Something is happening in my heart.  As a pastor, after reading these books and most importantly the Bible, I want to pray for the extraordinary like the great leaders before us have done, pray that God would intervene, heal, and truly be a part of our lives today!  What if your faith in prayer moved from God could do it, to God WILL do it!?

What if we as a people began to really pray and believe that God could do the miraculous in our community and church?  What if churches moved from being libraries of ancient literature alone, to places where an all-powerful God resided?  Just what if you started to really believe?!

Let’s cry out to God and see what happens.  Join us?

 “Prayers are like seeds; it feels like they disappear for a season but eventually life is born.” – Mark Batterson

Luke 18:1-8 (ESV)

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

4 thoughts on “Doubt, dilemma, and the power of prayer

  1. Great thought Mike! I’ve often pondered why reports of miracles seem to come from those areas or people whom ‘intellectuals’ would deem of low estate. Miracles occur on the mission field all the time yet seem to be less present in our American lives. I cannot help but be convinced that we have become too dependent upon ourselves, our education, our own talents to the detriment of our relationship with Christ. When miracles occured in the Gospels, the only limiting factor was faith. Oh that I could set aside myself and let the Holy Spirit work.

    1. Thanks Matt. You are correct. I actually am in cross cultural ministries at Wesley Seminary right now. (By the way great school. Shameless plug!) Where there is desperation the miraculous seems to be much more prevalent.

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