“There remains therefore, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His.”
When the middle of June rolls around each year I find myself, as I am sure each of you does, looking forward to the summer months in which the pace of our Church life slows down for a while. I look forward to vacation time when I can get rested and renewed in order to return to the full pace of all of our ministries in the fall. Summer is a time of a slower pace, of resting, of reconnecting with family and friends. As I look back on all of my years in Pastoral ministry I find that most of my best family times came during the summer. In these coming two months my most significant relationships will be rekindled.
If that is true for my family relationships how much more should it be true for my most significant relationship? During the summer I hope to reconnect with the LORD Jesus Christ in prayer. So much of what we are called to as believers is dependent upon our life of prayer. We speak about it often, but how often does it become the reality of our lives?
The Book of Hebrews calls us into this significant relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ. We enter into it through faith in the LORD Jesus. Chap Clark, at the recent CBOQ Assembly Meetings spoke to us about this faith in Christ. It is a trust relationship, which is what the word means. It means to turn from everything else that we have been trusting in, to put our whole trust in the LORD Jesus Christ. This means that if we are to enter into this type of relationship we must become people of prayer, not because the amount of prayer in our lives is significant, but because we must communicate with the one we trust. We listen to His Word as the Holy Spirit opens up our understanding of it. We also speak to the LORD laying the burdens of our lives down at His feet.
As the fourth chapter of Hebrews concludes the focus becomes overtly upon this calling to become people of prayer.
“Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Such prayer leads us into worship, praise, and petition for our needs and the needs of others. It also has a crucial place in the advancement of the mission and ministry of the Gospel in this world. Please, this summer hear the calling of these words from the Apostle Paul.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we might proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”