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Little Things

It's amazing what can throttle prayer.

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
Proverbs 6.9-11

Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“As to those common convictions and affections which the hypocrite had, and which made him keep up the duty of prayer for a while; they are not reaching the bottom of the heart, nor being accompanied by any change of nature, a little thing extinguishes them. The cares of the world commonly choke and suffocate them, and often the pleasures and vanities of youth totally put an end to them, and with them ends their constant practice of the duty of prayer.”

Life is full of all kinds of things – the activities and commitments that take up the moments God gives us every day. Some of these are big and important, like prayer. Others are smaller – like a few extra minutes sleeping, or idling at your desk, surfing the Web, playing video games, watching too much television. During these times, we’re not so much awake to our calling to seek the Kingdom and glory of God in all things (1 Thess. 2.12; 1 Cor. 10.31), as we are asleep at the helm of our little ship of state. The writer of Hebrews warns against “drifting” from true faith into something less than that (Heb. 2.1). We don’t typically fall away from the Lord all at once, by some sudden change of heart. Rather, we drift from Him, allowing the moments of our lives to be gobbled up in little things, rather than seeking to garner more of our time for Christ and His Kingdom. The place to begin resisting the corroding power of little things is in prayer. It only makes sense: Put this biggest thing into every available moment of time, and there won’t be any room for the little things that encourage drift and can undermine your faith.

How many moments today can you recoup from little things for the big work of prayer?

If Men Will Pray
Paul said that he wanted men everywhere to pray. But that won’t just happen. Someone will have to take the lead in showing men how to pray, enlisting them for the work, and helping them grow in consistency and power in their prayers. You have to start somewhere. Our booklet, If Men Will Pray, is a tool for learning to pray following Paul’s guidelines in 1 Timothy 2.1-8, and for enlisting another man for a 30-day prayer journey together. Watch this brief video, then order several copies of this booklet, and start enlisting your men for fuller, more consistent, and more satisfying lives of prayer (click here).

Thinking for a Christian Worldview
Christian thinkers have a Christian worldview. Our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, uses twelve diagrams to provide a comprehensive framework for thinking and living Christianly in the world. It’s free, online, and available for you to study by yourself or with your leadership team, at your own pace and on your own schedule. For more information and to register, click here.

The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All quotations from Jonathan Edwards, “Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer” in Edward Hickman, ed., The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1834, 1995), Volume Two, pp. 71 ff.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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