Telegrams and Civilian Intercoms

I want to share with you two quotes on the importance of prayer. We talk a lot about mission on this blog. But, as Tyler pointed out last week, talk is cheap. If we want to move from talk to action we must first and foremost realize that the power comes not from us but from God. In order to be men and women of effective mission we must bathe our lives in earnest prayer.

The first quote is from Joy Unspeakable by Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

How do you pray for this blessing? You plead the promises. ‘The Promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call’ (Acts 2:39). Tell God that. The Fathers used to use this great term- ‘Pleading the promises.’ You never hear it now. Why? Because people do not really pray any longer, they send telegrams to God. They think that that is the height of spirituality. They know nothing about ‘wrestling’ with God and ‘pleading the promises.’ p.208-209 (emphasis added)

This next quote is from a sermon by John Piper entitled The Weapon Serves the Wielding Power from Ephesians 6:

Is it not plain then that the purpose of prayer is to accomplish a mission? It is as though the field commander (Jesus) called in the troops, gave them a crucial mission (go bear fruit), handed each one of them a personal transmitter coded to the frequency of the general’s headquarters, and said, “Comrades, the general has a mission for you. He aims to see it accomplished. And to that end he has authorized me to give each of you personal access to him through these transmitters. If you stay true to his mission and seek his victory first, he will always be as close as your transmitter, to give tactical advice and to send in air cover when you need it.’

What has become clearer to me in recent days is that many of our problems with prayer and much of our weakness in prayer comes from the fact that we are not all on active duty, and yet we still try to use the transmitter. We have taken a wartime walkie-talkie and tried to turn it into a civilian intercom. (emphasis added)


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3 thoughts on “Telegrams and Civilian Intercoms

  1. “In order to be men and women of effective mission we must bathe our lives in earnest prayer.”

    Yes brother! God has recently been seriously convicting me over my lack of time in prayer. I find myself praying throughout the day, and every night I am praying as I drift off to sleep, but I rarely spend blocks of time devoted to seeking God in prayer and as a result my prayer life is anemic at best!

    It’s so true, how can we possibly hope to be truly missional apart from a healthy prayer life?

    As Martin Luther is quoted as saying; “I have so much to do today I will need to spend the first three hours of it in prayer.”

  2. I have found it easier to keep my mind focused on Jesus when I go for walks while I pray. Otherwise, the e-mail, the internet, the whatever calls me back to it.

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