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[thoughts] Pray for Everyone (January 2-8, 2006)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 3529 subscribers. Thank you! ... PROBING YOUR OWN
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2006
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth
      http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/


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      This edition goes out today to 3529 subscribers. Thank you!
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      PROBING YOUR OWN HEART

      What kind of limits do you practice in your praying?

      For what purpose do you want a quiet, peaceable life?


      BUILDING ON SOME FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS

      Nobody should be beyond our prayers.
      I struggle with this: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
      supplications, prayers, intercessions...be made for all men" (1
      Timothy 2:1). With more than six billion people on the planet, how
      do I respond to this exhortation?! Even if I cut the numbers back
      to my church family alone (and I don't think God wants me to limit
      my praying that way), I don't see how I can pray for everyone.
      That's why I say, "Nobody should be beyond our prayers." When
      I become aware of my need to pray for a particular individual, I
      should pray. No matter who he is. No matter what she's said about
      me. No matter the state of our relationship. I must pray for that
      person. Period.

      Nobody should be beyond our thanksgiving.
      Here is the missing piece from the above verse: "and giving of
      thanks." Oh my! Give thanks for everyone and anyone?! That strikes
      me as even more impossible than praying for everyone! But that is
      what the Bible says, so what's in this clause for me?
      No matter who, no matter what -- purposefully find something
      for which to give thanks. Is this a call to *feel* thankful? No, it
      seems to be more of a call to *give* thanks, without regard to my
      feelings. I do believe, though, that *giving* thanks can eventually
      lead to *feeling* thankfulness.
      Regarding some people, this takes more than a little bit of
      thought and effort. But I believe it can be done. I must decide
      today whether to practice that or not. I was at a bruising meeting
      last night and came home feeling brittle and betrayed. And I'm
      supposed to give thanks for that person? Somehow, yes.

      God's heart should motivate us to pray.
      God wants "all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge
      of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). That is God's vision. That is His
      mission. That is the yearning of His heart. So He calls on us to
      supplicate, pray, intercede, and give thanks for all men and for
      all in authority. Knowing God's vision, mission, and yearning
      should motivate us to action. If we don't know His heart, well,
      therein lies a clear way in which we ought to be praying for
      ourselves.

      Interpersonal relationships affect our prayers.
      "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy
      hands, without wrath and doubting" (1 Timothy 2:8). My Spanish
      Bible adds a different dimension to this by using *contention*
      where the King James Version uses *doubting*.
      How clean are the hands I offer God? Do I dare come before Him,
      raising hands dripping with remains of the mud and manure I have
      flung at someone? Dare I lift up to Him hands drenched with the
      blood and gore of angry words and contentious attitudes?


      QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES

      How do I pray without ceasing?
      Ceaseless praying is inseparably woven into oneness. The more
      my life is blended into the life of another, the more natural it
      becomes to pray extensively for that individual. This does not mean
      that I am never off my knees. It simply means I am acutely aware of
      that person's life and the areas he would benefit from my
      praying...so I pray -- while I'm driving children to school, when
      my mind wanders from my writing, as I clean a rusty tool at work,
      while I'm waiting to go to sleep, when I wake up during the night,
      or when I purposely stop what I'm doing in order to pray. Ceaseless
      praying is a state of mind and heart, not a posture or specialized
      activity.


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      Mark Roth


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