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On Top of Our Game! (09.27.05--Teach Me to Pray!--Psalm 122:6-7)



How many things are you passionate about in life? I remember many years ago during the Lombardi days and the good fortune of the Green Bay Packers. I was passionate about them.


Between 1961 and 1969 I can honestly say that I never, never missed watching or listening to a weekend Packer broadcast. It really didn’t matter where we were or what the inconvenience, I had to know what was going on with my beloved Packers. Then the unexpected happened. The Packers were playing that old familiar Thanksgiving Day game against, their arch nemesis, the Detroit Lions. We were invited to my grandmother’s house for the day. When we got there I discovered to my dismay that my grandmother’s TV set was not working. And the radio reception from her little upper flat was poor. That cold November Thursday I found myself sitting in my Dad’s 1959 Plymouth, bundled up, shivering, but listening to Ted Moore on the car radio. I needed to be a “part” of that game no matter the cost.


When it comes to prayer, how passionate should we be? Willing to sacrifice, even put ourselves into an uncomfortable situation, in order to stay on top of our “game?” Robert E. Lee was a man who knew how to stay on top of his game. And, when it came to prayer, no one was better. He wrote: “Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray--to really pray. Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight--all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches. Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.” (Robert E. Lee.)


The Bible tells us to intercede with prayer on behalf of others, to “pray for peace” and “security” for the whole and not just for ourselves (Psalm 122: 6-7). Yet, when it comes to interceding in prayer for others, how passionate are we really? Is this something that we do daily? Or is intercessory prayer, prayer for others as wells as ourselves, something relegated to a rare and extraordinary occasion? If we want to remain on the top of our prayer game, we need to be willing to be passionate about prayer; willing to go to extraordinary means to be a “part of the game” no matter the cost.

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