The Prayer Program: Start Small, Work Up to a Larger Commitment
Jan. 26, 2010
I started lifting weights almost a year ago. I started on my 67th birthday. I have kept at it. I can lift more weigh in all categories. In some cases, I have doubled my weights. In others, I am up 50%.
I think prayer is a similar exercise. It takes a regular program. It takes a willingness not to give up. There has to be a pay-off.
In the case of weight training, the pay-off is mostly personal until old age. In old age, maybe you will not become dependent on others.
A program of sustained prayer for sustained revival is mostly on behalf of others. The self-discipline is positive, but the focus is outward.
When the revival begins, this will change. As more people are brought into God's kingdom, the division of labor will produce great ethical benefits. Everyone will benefit except for criminal types. Drunkards will sober up. Divorces will be less frequent. Families will be more stable. At that point, more people will get with the program.
New converts should be asked to pray for family members and friends. This is closer to home. Then they are asked to pray for the church's ministries. Then they pray for their zip code. The prayers extend outward over time.
For most people, family, church, and zip code may be as wide a range as their prayers get. That is fine. If they go from five minutes a day to 20 minutes, that will be a major achievement. A few will get to 30. Maybe 20% will get to an hour.
The program depends on recruiting, training, and steady improvement. It relies on the discontinuity of faith and the continuity of progressive sanctification. Both are necessary for sustained revival.
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