This week on 200churches.com and on our 200churches Podcast we have been talking about prayer. To wrap up the week and this theme, I want to tell you why I don’t meet with God.
I always wanted to be Pastor Praymor. I assumed that Pastor Praymor would be more holy, get more things done, preach better messages, make fewer mistakes, visit more people, parse more Greek verbs, pump out great church bulletins, diagram entire epistles of Paul, and generally have more people in his worship services. After all, Pastor Praymor would certainly deserve those things. I mean, earn those things, through his much prayer. Well, I was never able to completely become Pastor Peter Praymor. Thank God.
I’ve been a pastor for over 26 years in just a few churches that ranged from 17 to 700, and at some point, although I don’t know when, I realized it was more important for me to do life with God, than it was for me to make my daily scheduled meeting with God.
After all, my wife would be ticked, I mean really ticked, if I met to talk with her once every morning, even if it was for an hour, and basically ignored her the rest of the day! Of course I would think of her often throughout the day, and maybe even peak in on her a couple times just to see how she was, but not to talk. Then at the end of the day I would get into bed with her and promptly fall asleep because I would of course be too tired to talk to her then.
I know, you can see where this train is heading. Thankfully, my wife is not God; she would not be nearly as patient and forgiving as he is! I certainly don’t meet with my wife once or even twice daily and think that is sufficient for our marriage. Neither should I meet with God once or twice a day, even for a relatively extended time, and think that is healthy or sufficient for my friendship with him. So, I don’t meet with God. I try to just do life with God.
Whenever I am involved in something, I try to ask for his help or advice, express thankfulness to him, and cry out to him for mercy and/or wisdom. Sometimes I just give up, and admit I need him and am powerless without him.
I can’t live without God. And I can accomplish absolutely nothing without his power and blessing. So, I have stopped meeting with God, and have started doing my dead level best to do life with God all the time.
If you meet with God, what do you do with him when you’re done meeting? Do you just turn your back on him and walk away? When you say “amen” is that like saying, “Okay God, thanks, but I've got it now. I’m good. See you later on.”? Of course we know better, especially as pastors, but don’t we really sell our relationship with God short when we simply have “devotions”, and then leave God up in our bedrooms and take off to start the day?
As pastors and leaders of 200churches, we are probably it at our church, no staff, perhaps not even a secretary or janitor. We’d better not leave God in the study, the bedroom, or sitting down on our living room couch – we’ve got to take him with us every single hour of every single day! We need his help and empowerment to shepherd our flock, be available to our community, and love our neighbors.
Pastor Peter Praymor? No, I’ve given up trying to be him. I’d like to be more like Rev. Robert Restwell. Robbie Restwell just enjoys hanging around Jesus every day, asks for his help, watches him do his thing in people’s hearts, and savors the journey. Maybe that’s what Paul meant when he told us to “pray without ceasing”. He did not say “pray in your meeting.”
So, what do you say? Instead of meeting with Jesus for ten minutes this morning, why not cancel the meeting and ask him to shadow you for the day, that you need the company and the help, and that you’d welcome his input and assistance. You might be amazed at the kind of day you’ll have!
But first, go ahead and show Pastor Praymor the door, and don’t worry if it does hit him on the way out!
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