Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Partnering in Prayer - Introduction

Partnering in Prayer
A Lenten Devotion by
Rev. Greg Smith


Dear Prayer Partner,

Thank you for joining me as together we covenant with God to pray for at least one hour a day. As your prayer partner, I’ll either be sending you a daily email, or a weekly digest of messages through snail mail. Please feel free to reply, and make this an ongoing conversation. Or, just read these encouragements along with whatever other devotional material you use.

I hope the thoughts that I share along our journey will be useful to you. Sometimes, they may be quotes from some of the “greats” of the faith. Other times, I may share with you an insight that God has showed me during my personal prayer time. I may share a teaching about prayer, or just a word of encouragement as we take the prayer road together. Honestly, I don’t know what this Lenten season will bring, as I plan to write each message to you fresh, each day. We’ll discover what God has in store together.

I am so encouraged by your response to my invitation to prayer. So far, over 10% of Antioch Baptist Church has joined in this covenant together, plus some other friends in other places. One friend said that this challenged reminded him of The Love Dare, with a twist. Certainly, we do this as an expression of love to our Lord, who asked His disciples, “Sit here while I pray,” and again, “Remain here and watch,” and still again, “Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.(Mk 14:32, 34, 37-38).”

When is the best time to pray? Like me, you may choose to get up early in the morning, or you may prefer to pray late at night. You may even want to pray for half an hour, twice a day. I do suggest that you devote at least twenty minutes at a time to prayer. Otherwise, your prayer time will seem rushed and insincere. What loving couple spends less than twenty minutes talking together over a meal? Certainly, they spend much more time than that! Indeed, the One whom we love the most deserves uninterrupted time alone with us. And we with Him. Personally, I’ve found the early morning hours to be best, because I get too tired late at night. It has to be when nobody else is awake, and before the phone has started ringing. I hope you find a good time, and a good comfortable spot to return to day after day. Make this your sacred time, your hallowed ground. There, you are safe. There, you can enter God’s throne room of love.

Along the journey, if you lose your way, don’t lose heart. Many have ventured off the path before you, and returned again whole. Just rejoin our covenant group tomorrow. Give yourself the same grace God gives you, and continue to seek His face. May God bless you each day of this journey.

In Christ,

Greg Smith

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