Several years ago the Barna Group conducted a research study to help determine some of the challenges that evangelicals experience regarding their spiritual growth.
One of the findings especially caught my attention: Of those surveyed, four out of five born again Christians believed that spiritual maturity is “trying hard to follow the rules.”
The implication of this finding is that many people have lost sight of the gospel truth. Being a Christ follower is not about following rules, but is all about trusting in Jesus for forgiveness of sin and living in a growing relationship with Him.
We cannot live the Christian life on our own; we must rely on the grace of our Lord as He molds us and equips us to do the good works He has prepared for us.
I often realize this truth as I spend time in prayer. As I devote time to prayer and enjoy fellowship with God, He reveals to me His wondrous love and mercies, and I am once again reminded of the greatness of my Savior and my dependence on Him.
Prayer is a key component in our spiritual growth. Prayer is so important to the life of a believer because it is during these times of intimate fellowship that God supplies us with His power and speaks directly to our hearts.
Last year The Huffington Post published an article entitled, “Why people who pray are healthier than those who don’t.” The article begins with information about how people who pray have lower stress levels and a more positive outlook on life.
Yet, the article says little about the spiritual implications of prayer. Prayer is so much more than, as the article describes, “a physiological mechanism.” For those who know Jesus Christ, prayer is the sacred act that binds our hearts to God and radically transforms our lives so that our lives reflect God’s Kingdom purposes.
Please continue praying for personal spiritual renewal, as well as spiritual awakening for our state, nation and world. Many churches across the state committed to praying last year for spiritual awakening, especially in the days leading up to our convention’s annual meeting. God honored our prayers, but we must not see that meeting as an end. It was a new beginning. If our heart’s desire is to see God transform lives for His glory, then we must continue to remain steadfast in our prayers for spiritual awakening.
This year’s statewide prayer conference is an excellent opportunity for you to be equipped and encouraged in your personal prayer commitment. The March 15-16 “Awaken” conference will be held at Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and feature speakers such as Darryl Craft, R. Logan Carson, John Franklin, Hugh Morrison and Bryon Paulus.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6