September 23, 2014
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Sharon Standifird is a mother with teenagers.
That means Sharon Standifird
worries about her kids when they go somewhere. She worries enough to say, "Call me when you arrive." Unfortunately, her kids often forgot and that means Standifird worried even more.
Now Standifird could have spent the rest of her children's youth worrying, or she could change things. She opted for option number 2. Eventually, she created a phone application she named, "Ignore No More." Once installed on the family phones, "Ignore No More" springs into action.
This is how it works: if mom calls the kids and they don't pick up, their phones are paralyzed. Yes, the kids can call 911, but they can't call anyone else, or send texts, play games, or e-mail. They are cut off until mom unlocks the phone by using her super-secret password.
Standifird's teenagers were the first "guinea pigs" on the effectiveness of the program. They agreed it was a good idea and should be used -- just not by them.
After reading that story, I wondered if the Lord ever thought of developing a similar app for His children when they forget to pray.
In numerous passages the Lord who has made us, redeemed, called, and keeps us, tells us to come to Him in prayer. All of us have read those verses wherein God instructed,
* "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2).
* "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
* "I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling" (1 Timothy 2:8).
We know what we ought to do, but too often we just don't get the job done. Things get in the way, the Lord gets put on the back burner, and our prayers are left unsaid.
Of course, things would change pretty quickly if the Lord gave the world an app that would silence anyone who hadn't prayed in the last hour. Imagine the unbelievers who would convert if they couldn't talk, write, e-mail, or send up smoke signals. Imagine what would happen if God put an app into place and made it so, if His saved children didn't pray to Him every hour, they wouldn't be able to communicate with anyone else. I imagine the messages coming up from the earth would increase a billion- fold.
But God doesn't do that, does He?
God doesn't force His people to do anything. He knows, or maybe I should say, He believes those elect who have seen Jesus' life, suffering, persecution, death and third-day-resurrection from the dead would want to talk to Him. Indeed, how could a grateful heart do otherwise?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that, because of Jesus, You are ready to hear my prayers of praise and petition. May my heart be ready to offer up that faithful devotion which ought to be Yours. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries