Monday, October 15, 2012


“9/11” is a day that will live in infamy.  That day 3,497 people died.  1609 people lost a spouse and 3051 children lost one or both parents.  That day is at least a scar, if not still an open festering wound, in the psyche of millions of Americans. You know don’t you, that on those airplanes and in those towers and at the Pentagon, there were desperate ‘9/11 prayers’ screamed and spoken and whispered as men and women and children realized they would not survive the ordeal?  For some of them, that prayer moment would have been like the peaceful words of Jesus from the cross, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  For others, that prayer was likely more of a panicked exclamation of a dramatic reality they never expected they would have to face.

A man named Jonah prayed such a prayer of desperation.  He found himself being digested in the stomach of a great fish.  His fate of an unsavory death seemed certain.  We read about it in Jonah 2:1, “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”  And, in this passage we can actually read the prayer Jonah offered up in his 9/11 hour.

And many have a prayer life that could well be identified by a sign saying, “Use only in case of emergency!”  Such prayers are offered in an hour of extremity, when there is no other viable alternative but to look to heaven and cry out for help.  In His mercy, God often answers, providing a temporary solution to an immediate problem.  But, the Lord wants us to enter another level of experience with him.  This is why Jesus said that when we pray, we should close ourselves off in a quiet place [Matthew 6:6].  Christ visualized a time of intimacy with the Father in which the objective of our prayer would be life transformation, the enjoyment of a relationship with Him.  In our best moments, this is the prayer life we want to cultivate, the prayer path we want to walk.

Pray with me… Our Father and God, once we have known the joy of your presence, the peace of your presence, the overpowering love we experience in your presence, we will never be able to settle for a ‘9/11’ prayer life again.  So, meet us at the point of our need as we pray and impress on us by the Holy Spirit the difference between religion and a relationship, formality and fellowship, duty and delight in the beauty of your presence.  In the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray, we pray… amen.

Pastor Ken

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