Summary: This sermon is about the necessity of prayer in our lives.
“In a Little While”
By Rev. A. LaMar Torrence,
Cross of Life Lutheran Church
Scripture: John 16:1-24
I yet believe that like the Psalmist that I too shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” That is what faith is. Faith is simply believing that one day we will see the goodness of the Lord manifested in our lives. Faith believes that one day the glory of the father shall shine all around us. Faith is waiting for that glory to appear. It’s waiting for God to make all things work for the good of those who love the Lord. Faith is waiting to see what good can come from our trials and tragedies? It’s waiting to see what good can come from being diagnosis with AIDS or cancer. It’s waiting to see what good can possible come from a spouse walking out on a relationship. Faith is saying, “I still believe that after all that has happened. After friends are no longer returning my phone calls, after family members have turned their backs on me, after enemies are celebrating my disappointments, I still believe that I will see his goodness. Faith is hoping in a God who in spite of your present circumstances can still fill your heart with goodness and your soul with satisfaction.
And during times like these we need much faith. To say that times are hard would be a pronouncement in social rhetoric. The truth of our current climate indicates that there are more storm clouds ahead, more strong winds to blow, and more turbulence is soon to come. These are dark cloudy days. Our lives are being drowned in mire and we are struggling to climb out of our pits of despair and fear. Wall Street is trying to climb out of a recession and bear market. Congress is struggling to climb out of decades of political warfare and mudslinging. Society at large is trying to climb out of pits of fear and terror. And yet, with all our climbing, we still find ourselves slowly sinking in a mire of worry and uncertainty. Companies, like Ford, Kmart, Lucent, and Verizon are sinking in layoffs, bankruptcy, and downsizing. Government is still sinking with corruption and dirty politics. Homes, families, and marriages are still sinking in dysfunction, divorce, and distress. I mean one would think that after 911, the gulf war, and Iraqi freedom things could not get any worse; and yet, slowly, things are. After Columbine, our schools are still contaminated with gangs, drugs, and violence. After the famous domestic violence cases of Nicole Simpson and Tina Turner, our homes are still infected with various forms of abuse. Slowly we are sinking into a miry culture of confusion and chaos. We are trying harder than ever to leave normal lives; yet we are working double time to pick-up to the slack due to corporate downsizing and cutbacks. We are trying to spend quality time with our families and love ones; yet we are afraid to travel to once love vacation spots. We are trying to keep the faith that things will improve and get better; yet according to psychologists, we are still traumatized, and grief stricken.
It’s no wonder that Jesus would encourage his people to pray. No wonder, he would tell them to ask anything of the father and he would give it to them in Jesus’ name. That’s power. That is true power. God has given us power to reweave the rent fabric of the universe. He has given us power to be released from the snares of lower energies. He has given us power to totally depend on God while gaining independence from the darkness of the world.
There is power in prayer. With prayer, no problem is too big or small, no question too important or unimportant to place in his hands. Someone once said that, “we don’t ask God for too much; in fact, we ask for too little. We make the mistake many people make; that is although we believe in him we do not intimately include him in our lives.” And how could we? We live lives of multiplicity-doing many things at once. Sociologists refer to our era as a time of ‘stacking’. We stack many daily assignments into our lives. We have learned to do many tasks at once. We eat breakfast while driving to work or going to school. Many of us may even get a head start by pulling out laps tops and mobile phones on route to work. At the office, we email and we teleconference, we do many multiple tasks during the day. And companies encourage that. They encourage us to eat at our desk or use the company’s gym room. The longer they could keep you at work the better. We stack our lives with much work. Some say that it is related to the fact that the human attention span is getting shorter. And our children have learned to do it more efficiently. They watch television and listen to the Walkman simultaneously. Our lives are becoming more complicated and more complex. And it is very difficult for us to focus our energies on one task. Because we are a multitask generation of people – our spiritual enemy has many opportunities to draw our attention away from the priority of prayer. In our minds, we tell ourselves that instead of sitting down for a little while and communicate with God we should and can use our times wiser by performing some activity. You see we have come to understand ‘prayer as a form of doing nothing; however prayer itself is a form of action and the means to any solution to your circumstance.