Prayer is people glue

July 3, 2015

We know food is people glue. I’ve been hearing this, saying it, and practicing it for over 30 years. When we share food it can invite and deepen relationship. But even more than food, prayer is people glue.

When we regularly pray with people we develop deep bonds of relationship. It doesn’t even matter what is prayed for, the simple act of agreeing together in prayer is powerful.

In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Here Jesus shines a light on the deep mystery of relationships.

We get to know a person very quickly when we regularly pray with them. 

I don’t mean a quick 5 minute prayer. No. This can be as unmeaningful as a high five on the way past someone in a church lobby.

When we regularly pray together for 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours… a sincerity is built, a deep heart connection through the power of agreement in prayer is built. This develops a spiritual intimacy, a trust level that is deeper than other relationships. Any usual barriers to relationship, real or perceived, are quickly dissolved–offense, insecurity, unforgiveness, language, culture, ethnicity, agendas apart from God’s will–all are all dissolved.

Why?

Because sincere prayer requires honesty before God and when a person is honest before God, they are honest before people. This is something that is felt, it is spiritually perceived and known.

Insincere, dishonest prayers are also felt–spiritually perceived.

We cannot regularly pray with people without one of two things happening:

  1. We get honest and go deeper in prayer and deeper in the relationship. We will love more deeply and be willing to trust more openly and be vulnerable. This is where we learn that prayer is people glue and that it builds intimacy among believers like nothing else can. Or,
  2. We give up and end the regularity of prayer because prayer is too much work. Honesty is too much work. We are afraid of the vulnerability and afraid of the emotional engagement love requires of us. So relationships remain at a very surface level.

Right before Jesus went to the Cross, He prayed, “I pray for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be ONE, Father, just as YOU ARE IN ME and I AM IN YOU. May they also BE IN US so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete UNITY. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23

The kind of intimacy Jesus has with the Father ONENESS He is praying we would have with each other.

Prayer does this.

Then the world will know that you sent me… 

Related post: There is no intimacy without honesty

Have you ever watched a worm stuck on hot pavement?

It flips and flops around. It’s stuck. It may only be a few inches away from the vital-life-saving-nutrient-rich-subteranean-earth it calls home, but on the pavement, the worm does not know which way it needs to go. It cannot get there on its own. It’s completely helpless.

The worm has no face, no eyes, no ears, no hands, no ability to help itself to the earth it so desperately needs. Every noise and bright light disorients the worm. It is confused. It cannot help itself.

And while the worm flips and flops its life ebbs away as its tiny body gives up what little moisture it has through its skin. It literally dehydrates.

For a worm, the God-ordained environment is subterranean. It’s deep down in the dark and quiet earth.

Our original God-ordained environment is in intimate, unbroken relationship with God. Think back to the garden. Before the Fall, Adam lived incredibly close, in complete dependence on God. Sin changed humanities relationship with God. But thank God, He loves us so much, and through the work of Jesus on the Cross, God made a way back to that original relationship. He reinstated us. God longs for us to be intimate with Him once again, but this only happens away from the crushing, screaming, busyness of life.

Like the worm who goes down deep into the dark and quiet earth, we need to allow God to go deep with us, sometimes into the dark recesses of our heart, bringing healing and love, and we need to learn to remain quiet before God. This is where intimacy with Him is found.

There’s a second part to our God-ordained environment, it’s our relationships one-to-another. We have been called to live and love interdependently in the community of believers–a local church. God places us in a church. He puts people next to us who we are called to do life with. We are to love and cherish them, overlook their faults, prefer them over ourselves, lookout for them, help pull the gold out of them and polish it up, cheer them on, protect them, provide for them, like a loving family would.

These two things, our relationship with God and our relationships with each other, provide the vital-life-saving-nutrient-rich environment we need. Outside this God-ordained environment, we suffer the same fate as the worm. We flip and flop around, helpless to know which way to go. Slowly, but with finality, our spiritual life will ebb away.

We are just like a worm…

Selfie Life

June 30, 2015

Until we break free from the bondages of the self…

  • self-confidence
  • self-adulation
  • self-exaltation
  • self-entitlement
  • self-pity
  • self-absorption
  • self-admiration
  • self-seeking for attention and popularity and the praise of man
  • self-promotion
  • “my ministry” centered-self
  • self-focused look at me, everyone love me…

…we will never really experience much of God’s power at work in or through our lives. For while we are full of the self, that is self-love or pride, WHILE WE ARE FULL OF PRIDE, we are little full of love for Jesus and we are little full of the Holy Spirit and we will experience little of His power.