We Need to Pray
In case you’re unfamiliar with recent events, Tom Brady helped lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to one of the most unexpected Super Bowl victories ever. He’s the oldest winner of the Super Bowl MVP, with a team that hadn’t had a playoff victory since 2002. And famously, he has won more Super Bowl victories than anyone. Ever.
As many are studying this phenomenon, what is increasingly clear is how Tom Brady lives and works. Whenever he is not playing in a game, he is preparing to play in the next game. He has become synonymous with dedication – his diet, his training, his mental focus, and especially his encouragement of his fellow teammates are legendary. What sets him apart?! Surely he has talent, but what others view as a game, Tom Brady has taken as an unrivaled commitment.
What is there to learn from this? My concern is that during Christendom, it was easy. It was easy to do church. It was easy to be identified as Christian. It was even easy to have the respect of other non-Christian neighbors. Not anymore.
Without arguing over why Christians collectively have lost the public square, I would like to ask how you view your faith or the faith of your neighbor? Is this a game, or is it an unrivaled commitment?
Back in 1996, as we prepared to launch Trinity, our core group believed (from core group documents):
We follow a risen Savior who went through crucifixion, and so we expect His plan of redemption to include suffering. This is realistic because 1) to really love someone is costly as we inherently give ourselves for their benefit, and 2) the expansion of God’s kingdom in this world has always been violently contested by forces of spiritual darkness. It is war.
We believe in the power of prayer, expecting God to accomplish surprising things when his people express their dependence upon him. Therefore, we are boldly asking God to do things in us and through us in Lakeland that are so identifiable as His work alone that we know we could not possibly achieve them in our own wisdom and strength.
To take your relationship with Jesus as an unrivaled commitment will require living like few other people live – and for us, it means that we pray. We MUST pray. We must PRAY!!
Prayer is how we express our dependence upon the LORD. It is the privilege of access that He has granted us in Christ because Jesus has cleared our path by removing 100% of our guilt, which would have barred us from the Father’s Presence. Yet now, trusting Jesus, we are purified and clothed in His very righteousness and given His very access to the Father.
So we can be hopeful. But especially given the difficulty of this season and the resolute opposition of all the powers of hell, we need to be humble. And realistic. Praying not optional. It is how we get our most essential chores done with the Father.
So we are resuming a monthly gathering for anyone at Trinity – or really anyone in our city. We are calling it 4th Sunday’s at 4p. And starting THIS Sunday, February 28 at 4p, we will gather at Trinity to pray. If you plan on using childcare, you MUST register each child attending by midnight on Saturday, so that we can be sure to have enough workers to safely care for your kids.
We would love to have you join us! If you’re a veteran, come get renewed in praying strategically. If you’re new to this, come learn how to pray. If you’re not sure what you believe, come listen to see if we pray for anything negative – about anyone! And maybe that will win you to the love of Jesus at work in sinners like us. But we’re going to pray.
Things to pray for:
- Humility. Ask the Lord to forgive you for all the ways you have sought to live your life without trusting Him – by seeking to live prayerlessly.
- Gratitude. Give thanks to the Father for His gift of access – in Christ – so that anyone can approach Him, worship Him, seek His forgiveness, gain His wisdom, or be fueled by His strength for any endeavor that He would endorse.
- Hope. Ask Jesus to fill you with hope because of His all-surpassing power. Even in light of the hard and darkening times, we live in, pray for His transforming hope to fill your heart because He can do things that no one else can
- Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to bear in you His fruit of love, especially as our culture has grown more fearful and selfish.