Most currently I have been reading a book called “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster. I was meeting with the head chaplain two weeks ago and we were talking about spiritual growth, other religions, careers and whatever else that we felt led to talk about. It was a wonderful meeting as usual. He recommended me to read “The Shack”, which the experience could produce many wonderful blogs.
However, he had mentioned to me the “Celebration of Discipline” was his favorite spiritual growth book of all time. As I am reading it, I understand why. The author talks about living a disciplined Christian life and the different disciplines, that us Christians should make a part of our daily lives. Eventually these disciplines will become a natural part of you and eventually will be as easy as breathing. Now he is not talking about laws or rules. He is talking about how to walk intimately and grow with God. How to build your relationship with God. Let him control your life.
So far I have read the disciplines of Meditation, Prayer and Fasting. This is not a book you speed through. This is a book that you must take your time and start to practice these disciplines. I am going to talk about the Discipline of Prayer.
I was lying here, listening to Christian music and it hit me. Before I started listening to music I prayed. I thought about something my sister, Sam, asked me while she was down here visiting. I had asked about her and her boyfriend’s best friend, who is going through a difficult situation. Afterwards I said, “I will continue to pray for him.” And my sister said, “How do you remember what all to pray for?” And I said, “I just say a general prayer for all of the family and friends. If I named everyone individually and prayed for them then I would be praying for a long time.” At the time I didn’t think anything of it, other than well, God knows their needs and I don’t have to go into detail or anything.
As I was reading Foster’s book, I realized this was not cool. Foster talks about how we need to use our imagination when we pray. He goes on to use an example. When he was at the hospital with a very sick infant, and the family had a 4 year old son who was very sad about his baby sister. She was very ill! So he asked the little boy to pray with him. Before the prayed, Foster told the boy to imagine that Jesus was sitting on the chair in the corner and when we put our hands on your baby sister, Jesus is going to walk over and lay his hands on ours and we are going to ask for your baby sister to be healed, feel better. The little boy said, “ok.” They both imagined this happening and they prayed while imagining Jesus was right beside them with his hands on theirs.
The next day, the family called Foster, their pastor, and the baby was healed. They used their imagination and believed with all their heart that Jesus was present with them. He goes on in the book and says that we should pray for people’s situations the same way, spend time on their prayer request. All day we should be praying for people; not just one day but every day.
It made me think to myself, “Are God and other people’s souls worth 3 minutes of my time, or are they worth more than that?” I have decided that God and people’s souls, prayer requests, are worth ALL of my time. I believe that if we don’t give God our whole heart and love people more than ourselves, what good are our prayers in the end? I encourage you to spend more time praying and believing that your prayers will be answered.