“Getting old ain’t for sissies” is true. I don’t minimize the problems of aging but getting old wasn’t the concern of the early Christians. Jesus’ big three disciples are all mentioned in Acts 12:1-5. James, the brother of John, was beheaded, Peter imprisoned. What did the church do? They prayed. How did they pray? With “earnest prayer.”
So much of our prayer time is for the sick. That is biblical. We are told to do that. However, mortality is 100 percent. All of us die eventually. I am not cavalier about aging or death. We experience loss and grief in both. However, we must remember our mission: Helping Others Follow Jesus. Trouble follows when we get off mission and become earthbound rather than seeking the kingdom of God.
On the night Jesus was arrested, He prayed earnestly in Gethsemane that this cup could pass from Him (Mark 14:32-42). Paul gave the Ephesians great instructions on prayer: “… praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me …” (Ephesians 6:18- 19). He told the Thessalonians: “… we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith …” (1 Thessalonians 3:10). James describes how Elijah was a righteous man who prayed fervently, with the admonition to us to do the same. The writer of Hebrews (6:11-12) has an application for us too: “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Speaker: Tom Harrison
March 28, 2021
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