In my personal bible reading last week, I was making my way through Jeremiah. The message of Jeremiah is a sad one. The Lord is grieved over his people’s unfaithfulness. Judah has worshiped false gods, departed from the Lord, and has listened to false teachers tell them that everything was going to be OK. God is resolved in bringing judgment against them. In Jeremiah 15, God says to Jeremiah regarding Judah.
“Then the Lord said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!” – Jeremiah 15:1, ESV
God tells Jeremiah that even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before him, he would not change his course with Judah. What a remarkable statement about the intimacy that Moses and Samuel had with God! It is beautiful commentary on the depth of their intercessory prayer life for God’s people. God is in a sense saying, “Moses and Samuel had my ear! When they prayed, my heart was moved! They interceded with unrelenting prayer for my people and I responded to them with my nearness and grace. But, even if they were to pray to me for this people, I would not relent!”
As I read that, I was challenged by the depth of my intimacy with God and the fervency of my intercessory prayer life. Would God say of me, “Even if JR were to stand before me in prayer…” Could he say that of our church? “Even if Church at the Cross were to call upon me…” Even better, what if God could say of us, “Because Church at the Cross called upon me, I will work.” Jesus has made prayer possible. He has opened up the door into God’s presence making his throne one of mercy, a place we can always find help in our time of need. But the Bible is clear that our prayers can be hindered and powerless because of sin, faithlessness, lack of perseverance, and our infrequency. We can be missing out on many works of God because of the absence of prayer and the anemic nature of our intercessory lives. Still, God invites us to press into him in cultivating this discipline.
This is the power of our Pray 30/20/10 initiative. We are becoming a praying people through the act of praying. We are learning to cultivate a praying habit so that we might have a praying heart. By taking 30 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes during the day, and 10 minutes at night to seek God in his Word and in prayer, we are learning to look away from ourselves and to look to God. This season of prayer can be a turning point in our lives. We might very well be on the verge of some new works of God as he responds to our persistent prayers. If you have not taken the Pray 30/20/10 challenge, I encourage you to take it up today. Make it a part of the regular rhythm of your life. Join us as we strive with God’s help to become a church serious in its intention to be a praying people.