Thursday, 28 August 2014

Prayer is to the Christian as (Sexual) Intimacy is to Marriage.

Just read, in half an hour, Mike Reeves' excellent little book on prayer. It's so short, you could read it over a coffee and for £3 from here, it's a bargain.  Get it and pass it on when you've finished.

Mike doesn't draw the analogy, but basically prayer is for the Christian like intimacy (esp sexual intimacy) is for marriage. Intimacy does not make you married, nor does it break your marriage, but the amount and nature of the intimacy mutually experienced is probably the best indicator of how deeply the spouses do or don't love each other. Prayer does not make you a Christian, nor does lack of it unmake you one, but it does reveal what your attitude towards God really is deep down. He puts it like this:
In one sense, your prayer life is disgustingly revealing: it does reveal who you really are. For all your talk and theory of faith - you can affirm the truth of prayer and know that God is good - your prayer life reveals how much you really want communion with God, and how much you really depend on him. I stress, it does not tell you about your security as an unrejectable child of God, but it does tell you, very accurately, how much of a baby you are spiritually, how much of a hypocrite you are, and how much you actually love the Lord. Thus, if your tendency is to think you're rather wonderful, remember your prayer life.
Yet don't be dismayed! Yes, it means you need to start at the beginning in learning how to pray. But prayer is the 'chief exercise of faith' so of course you're naturally rubbish at prayer, because you're naturally lacking in faith. If prayer is 'the chief exercise of faith' - then of course everything, the world, the flesh and the devil - conspires against prayer. This means that you're not the odd one out in your struggles with prayer - and it's not your secret shame - which can be the crippling fear. You're just a sinner, naturally inclined away from faith and prayer. We're all sinners. And you know who the friend of sinners is? Jesus.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

There are those who advance the position that, by saying, the Sinner's Prayer your sins will be forgiven and you will be added to the Lord's church. The question remains, can saying a prayer save anyone? Let us investigate that supposition.

The typical sinner's prayer: "Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you have died for my sins and arose from the grave. I now turn from my sins and invite You into my heart and life. I receive You as my Lord. Amen."

The birth of the church of Christ was A.D. 33 the Day of Pentecost. How were they saved?

Acts 2:22-41.....36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ---this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren what shall we do?" 38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The events on the Day of Pentecost that lead to salvation.
1. Peter preached the death, burial , and resurrection of Jesus.(Acts 2:22-35)
2. Peter proclaimed Jesus as both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
3. Men believed the message and were convicted of their sins and ask what they should do. (Acts 2:37)
4. Peter told them to repent and be baptized (immersed in water) so their sins could be forgiven and they could receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
5. How were they saved? Act 2:40-41..."Be saved from this perverse generation" 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. (Notice they were not saved until they were baptized).


What did they have to do to be saved?

They needed to have faith: John 3:16, Mark 16:16
They needed to repent: Acts 2:38, Acts 3;19 (repentance means to make a commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God).
They needed to confess: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:36-37.
They needed to be baptized: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:20-21.

The apostles never taught the sinner's prayer as the terms for pardon.

No one is questioning the sincerity of those who recite the SINNER'S PRAYER, the question is, can the SINNER'S PRAYER SAVE ANYONE?