TERRA BELLA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
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Pastor’s Letter To The Chimes --- June - July 2017

“PRAYERLESS PRAYING”
 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is one of the great figures in the history of German literature. His best known work is the drama “Faust”. In the early 1800’s, Goethe wrote, “I look upon all the four Gospels as thoroughly genuine, for there is in them the reflection of a greatness which emanated from the person of Jesus and which was of as Divine a kind as ever was seen on earth.’
 
“There are no possibilities and no necessity for prayerless praying, a heartless performance, a senseless routine, a dead habit, a hasty, careless performance — it justifies nothing. Prayerless praying has no life, gives no life, is dead; it breathes out death. Not a battle-axe but a child’s toy for play not for service. Prayerless praying does not come up to the importance and aims of a recreation. Prayerless praying is only a weight, an impediment in the hour of struggle, of intense conflict, a call to retreat in the moment of battle and victory.”
 
In his book “The Purpose of Prayer”, Edward M. Bounds writes, “Why do we not pray? What are the hindrances to prayer? This is not a curious nor trivial question. It goes not only to the whole matter of our praying, but to the whole matter of our religion. Religion is bound to decline when praying is hindered. That which hinders praying, hinders religion. He who is too busy to pray will be too busy to live a holy life.’
 
“Other duties become pressing and absorbing and crowd out prayer. ‘Choked to death’, would be the coroner’s verdict in many cases of dead praying, if an inquest could be secured on this dire, spiritual calamity. This way of hindering prayer becomes so natural, so easy, so innocent that it comes on us all unawares. If we will allow our praying to be crowded out, it will always be done. Satan had rather we let the grass grow on the path to our prayer-chamber than anything else.’
 
“A dosed chamber of prayer means ‘gone out of business religiously’ or what is worse, made an assignment and carrying on our religion in some other name than God’s and to somebody else’s glory. God’s glory is only secured in the business of religion by carrying that religion on with a large capital of prayer. The apostles understood this when they declared that their time must not be employed in even the sacred duties of alms-giving. ‘They must give themselves’, they said, ‘continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word,’ prayer being put first with them and the ministry of the Word having its efficiency and life from prayer(Acts 6:4).


Rev. Dr. William Hull wrote: "Prayer is as much a matter of discovering what God wants as it is a matter of letting God know what we want." So I ask each of us, “What does God want us to pray about today and each day? Should we examine our questions and our motives a little more closely?"
 
I pray that we will each consider these questions carefully and prayerfully. Nothing in our entire life is as important as our relationship with Jesus Christ – in prayer.
 
With God’s blessings always, Pastor Terry