Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Character of God and Prayer

I am currently teaching a series on Sunday morning in our Sojourners Adult Bible Class on the subject of the characer and nature of God. The theme of this morning's class was The Relevance of This Study to our lives. The question naturally that begs to be asked, "Does this study have any practical value to my life?" The very question grieves my heart! How could anyone possibly wonder if a study on the character and nature of God would have any relevance to their life? Yet, I find many people in the so-called evangelical church who know many facts about God but they don't know God intimately, experientially, and theologically. J. I. Packer once wrote:"Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life..." My challenge this morning was for each Sojourner to mediate on nine ways that this study of the nature and character of God impacts their lives in a practical manner. The eighth way that this study impacts them and becomes relevant is in the area of their prayer life. A study in the nature and character of God enhances our prayer life. We don't know how to pray today. What is worse is that we don't see the need to make any changes to our prayer life or list. We determine what will make us happy, comfy, cozy, and safe and proceed to ask God to give us this and that in order to make it happen. Studying the character and nature of God enables us to pray in accordance with God's character and nature and prevents us from praying contray to His character, His will and/or purposes. Forget the fluff, forget the willy-nilly "Daddy this makes me happy,I want it, so give it to me," and learn to pray according to God's character and nature. Learn to pray as, oh yea, the Puritans!

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