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Conventional Thinking: The missing ingredient

It doesn’t take a genius to see that America today is in a mess. From racism run amok to widespread addiction, from a pornography epidemic to corruption in the political system, our problems seem only to be getting worse, not better.

As Christians, we know that the only solution to the sin problem is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ itself, and that only by living out our faith will the world assign credibility to our message. But how do we activate these?

We’ve tried programs, events, education—everything to get the church on the move again. Why can’t we seem to get any traction?

While there are various reasons for our struggles, if we could boil our shortcomings down to one singular factor, what would it be? Better preaching, better music, better fellowship, better leaders? Those would help, of course.

I would suggest that prayer is our missing ingredient. After all, when it comes down to our spiritual walks, everything rises and falls on prayer, because it is how we call on God and His resources, presence and help.

Someone once said, “You can always do more after you have prayed, but you cannot do anything meaningful until you have prayed.” Christians, it is past time for a return to prayer.

There are two new books that I would recommend to see this happen. The first is a short book by seminary professor Donald Whitney called Praying the Bible. The idea behind the book (which can be ordered online or found in Christian bookstores) is simple, but powerful.

Whitney believes that God has inspired the Bible in such a way that verses can be turned into prayer, especially the Psalms. Take Psalm 23 of David, for example. We can read verse one, “The Lord is my shepherd…” and then springboard a prayer from that, then move onto the next verse.

By staying close to the Scripture, which is inspired by the Holy Spirit, we are allowing the Bible to guide our thoughts and prayers. Try it and you will be amazed to see a boring, repetitive prayer life turned into a dynamic and relational one.

The second book is by Oklahoma’s own Gregory Frizzell. Called, Forty Days of Seeking God: For Revival, Elections and Key Leaders, this book, a sequel to an earlier edition, will help us call on the Lord as we prepare to vote in November.

We know that this country will not be fixed by a good election or two, to quote Russell Moore. At the same time, we recognize that America—already in a moral downward spiral—could be made even worse with a new bumper crop of bad leaders.

In this book, Frizzell helps us call on the Lord, crying out for His grace and mercy on our nation. The book is in no way political or partisan, and it focuses on deep repentance and focused prayer in believers’ lives. For information on the book, contact Frizzell at 405/990-3730 or info@frizzellministries.org.

They say that prayer is firing the winning shot. They say that every major movement of God has been preceded by a prayer movement. To see prayers answered, we need to be offering them up to the Father, Who is always listening and always ready to hear His people cry out.

To that end, take a moment even now and pray to Him.

Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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