It’s all about Prayer.

God’s been teaching me about this one for quite some time, and I’m always learning more. Through a cool chain of coincidences (yes, I know, God put them together… he’s great like that) I stumbled across this amazing website – http://www.ccel.org/. There are MANY classic Christian books in the public domain, and they are posted here for free download as PDF files. You can pay a bit to get it in an e-reader format if you prefer that sort of thing. The book I followed here was With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray, but the one I ended up reading, and inspired by is the one linked below. Here is the bit of text that jumped out at me…

The words “pray” and “prayer” are used at least twenty-five times in connection with our Lord in the brief record of His life in the four Gospels, and His praying is mentioned in places where the words are not used. Evidently prayer took much of the time and strength of Jesus, and a man or woman who does not spend much time in prayer, cannot properly be called a follower of Jesus Christ.   From “How to Pray” by R.A. Torrey – available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/torrey/pray.html

Hard to make it more clear than that. Lord, continue to teach me to pray. 🙂

Details, Details…

Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you and your people will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You and your people worship what you don’t know; we worship what we know because salvation is from the Jews.  But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way.  God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.”   John 4:21-24

This really hit home for me – when I was just a seeker, trying to figure all this church stuff out, I was so worried that I was going to do something wrong. I’d see billboards about worshipping on Sunday being the mark of the beast, or debate about different denominations or doctrine, or even comments about communion only “counting” if it’s served by a pastor or the like… all the technicalities seemed so confusing to me.

And it also seemed petty, like when my life was over, I’d stand before God and he’d say, sorry, I know you really thought you meant it, but you picked the wrong day of the week to worship me. Now I realize how silly that sounds, but when you’re looking for answers and billboards and stuffy church is what you find, it can be confusing.

Now, I’m not saying that worshipping on Sunday (or Saturday, if that’s the day you choose) isn’t important – it is. But what’s most important is WHY you do it. I believe that God is more concerned with the heart of why you do things than with WHAT you do… If your child did something very silly, but had love and care for you in mind, wouldn’t you be touched by the gesture, once you knew what was behind it? God always knows our hearts, why we do what we do.

So while I think that tradition, and ritual, and reverence, and doctrine are great, and I understand that we all have different things that make us feel closer to God; I’ve come to believe that relationship with God and giving him your heart supersede all of it.