Thursdays With Oswald—Prayer Is The Work

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Prayer Is The Work 

     The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, not of man, and according to Our Lord, the key is prayer, not work, as that word is popularly understood, because work may mean evading spiritual concentration. Our Lord says—“Pray therefore…” [Matthew 9:38]. … 

     We are apt to think of prayer as a common-sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for work; whereas in the teaching of Jesus, prayer is not to fit us for the “greater works,” prayer is the work. Prayer is the outcome of our apprehension of the nature of God, the means whereby we assimilate more and more of His mind, and the means whereby He unveils His purposes to us. …  

     God is not impressed by our earnestness, He nowhere promises to answer prayer because of our agony in intercession, but only on the ground of Redemption. We have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” and in no other way. … 

     The armor is for the battle of prayer [see Ephesians 6:11-20]. “Take up the whole armor of God … stand therefore …” and then pray. The armor is not to fight in, but to shield us while we pray. Prayer is the battle. … 

     We have to live depending on Jesus Christ’s wisdom, not on our own. He is the Master, and the problem is His, not ours. We have to use the key He gives us, the key of prayer. Our Lord puts the key into our hands, and we have to learn to pray under His direction. That is the simplicity which He says His Father will bless.

From So Send I You

In light of these thoughts from Oswald Chambers, how does this change your view of prayer?

Dads: Godly Influencers

Godly Influencer - fathers dayIt’s hard work being a Dad!

  • We have to be tough enough to kill spiders, yet tender enough to attend a princess tea party.
  • We have to bring home the bacon, yet not eat too much bacon so our cholesterol doesn’t get out of control.
  • We have to know the strategy of football, and the scoring for competitive cheerleading.
  • We have to be strong and gentle, smart and compassionate.
  • We have to climb the ladder at work, and build a solid foundation at home.
  • We have to knock down our competitors, and build up our children.

The Bible has a lot to say to encourage Dads to do all of these things, and to become the godly influencer God wants us to be in all aspect of our lives.

Please join me this Sunday as we learn from a man in the Bible who had everything to lose at work by doing things God’s way. Yet he chose God’s way and reaped some amazing results. Hope to see all the Dads this Sunday at 10:30am.

Improve Performance At Work, Home & School

How To Get Along With OthersA huge component of poor performance is poor communication. You might think you are communicating your expectations well, but if you are only speaking in your primary communication style, you are probably only fully connecting with 1-out-of-3 people in your life.

I previously shared some thoughts for Christians to share their faith in Jesus in a communication style that will connect with all other communication styles. Here are some thoughts for improving communication effectiveness at work, home and school, which will lead to improved performance as well.

HOW TO TALK THEIR TALK AT WORK

Doer

  • Communicate in bullet points
  • Training: give them the quick-start guide
  • Strength: implementation
  • Position: service calls on products
  • Focus: bottom line

Planner

  • Communicate with detailed instructions
  • Training: give them the full training manual
  • Strength: logistics
  • Position: back office work (accounting, billing, HR records)
  • Focus: milestones with due dates

People

  • Encourage teamwork
  • Training: take them to a seminar
  • Strength: people resources
  • Position: sales / customer service
  • Focus: milestones with due dates

Vision

  • Show them the big picture
  • Training: verbally explain to the procedures
  • Strength: brainstorming
  • Position: customer service / R&D
  • Focus: boundaries

HOW TO TALK THEIR TALK AT HOME

Doer

  • Chores: assign small chunks with a deadline
  • Tell them the bottom line

Planner

  • Chores: work with an organized schedule
  • Let them come up with the plan

People

  • Chores: Work together
  • Show them what to do, don’t tell them what to do

Vision

  • Chores: start with the end in mind
  • Give them boundaries

I shared some other ways to connect with people of different communication styles in an earlier post. You can read that here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“With such prayer [‘Praying in the Holy Sprit’ (Jude 20)] it is an absolute certainty that I must succeed with God in prayer. If my prayer were my own prayer, I might not be so sure of it, but if the prayer which I utter be God’s own prayer written on my soul, God is always one with Himself, and what He writes on the heart is only written there because it is written in His purposes.” —Charles Spurgeon

“In the passage where the New Testament says that every one must work [Acts 20:34-35], it gives as a reason ‘in order that he may have something to give to those in need.’ Charity—giving to the poor—is an essential part of Christian morality.” —C.S. Lewis

“Security comes as we put God’s precepts into practice. We’re only as strong as our obedience.” —Max Lucado

Dan Reiland shares 6 things God says to church leaders.

“Mountain lions detect vulnerabilities in their prey and attack the weakest—the young, the sick, the injured. Studies have confirmed this instinctive cruelty. It’s how the mountain lion lives, following the scent of suffering and feasting on whatever he finds. The enemy of your hope and happiness hunts with that same instinct, with a cold-hearted and ruthless hunger for the weak or hurting. satan prowls like a roaring lion.” Read how to overcome the prowlings of the devil.

For anyone struggling with pornography, here is a great source of help: MyPilgrimage.com. Watch the introductory video, and then subscribe!

Here is some good advice for students who are addicted to pornography—

Poetry Saturday—Father And Son

Edgar A. GuestBe more than his dad,
Be a chum to the lad;
Be a part of his life
Every hour of the day;
Find time to talk with him,
Take time to walk with him,
Share in his studies
And share in his play;
Take him to places,
To ball games and races,
Teach him the things
That you want him to know;
Don’t live apart from him,
Don’t keep your heart from him,
Be his best comrade,
He’s needing you so!

Never neglect him,
Though young, still respect him,
Hear his opinions
With patience and pride;
Show him his error,
But be not a terror,
Grim-visaged and fearful,
When he’s at your side.
Know what his thoughts are,
Know what his sports are,
Know all his playmates,
It’s easy to learn to;
Be such a father
That when troubles gather
You’ll be the first one
For counsel, he’ll turn to.

You can inspire him
With courage, and fire him
Hot with ambition
For deeds that are good;
He’ll not betray you
Nor ill repay you,
If you have taught him.
The things that you should.
Father and son
Must in all things be one —
Partners in trouble
And comrades in joy.
More than a dad
Was the best pal you had;
Be such a chum
As you knew, to your boy. —Edgar A. Guest

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Building the Church is the Lord Jesus’ primary agenda before He returns. However, for many of the followers of Christ, working to build the Church is just another thing on their ‘to-do list’ which they may or may not get to during the course of any given week. We can become so distracted by work, family, diversions, and avocations that we have precious little time or strength left for the work Jesus is most interested in pursuing. So, as long as the devil can distract us from the work of building Christ’s Church, he doesn’t need to employ more spectacular or drastic measures.” —T.M. Moore

“‘Why has sex become man’s chief stumbling block?’ But has it? Or is it only the most recognizable of the stumbling blocks? I mean, we can mistake pride for a good conscience, and cruelty for zeal, and idleness for the peace of God et cetera. But when lust is upon us, then, owing to the obvious physical symptoms, we can’t pretend it is anything else. Is it perhaps only the least disguisable of our dangers.” —C.S. Lewis

“The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jesus Christ are imparted to us, not gradually, but instantly, when by faith we enter into the realization that Christ is made unto us sanctification. … It is not power to live like Jesus; it is Christ living in us, and it is His life that is seen.” —Oswald Chambers

“Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.” —C.S. Lewis

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Just as God saved man by taking upon Himself man’s flesh, so everywhere in the world He calls men by speaking to them through men of their own flesh and blood. God incarnates Himself—in His Spirit, incarnates Himself in the chosen men, especially in His church, in which He dwells as in a temple; and then through that church He is pleased to bless the world.” —Charles Spurgeon

J. Warner Wallace does an excellent job using his skills as a police detective to investigate the claims of Scripture. Here is a really good post entitled 4 Reasons The New Testament Gospels Are Reliable.

“Most Christians know we’re not saved by our works, but we are often prone to be satisfied by them,” writes Marshall Segal in his post Work With Your Hands, Not With Your Worship. Check out how we can worship and work in a God-glorifying way.

I grew up in the Detroit area, so the Tigers, Lions, Red Wings and Pistons were―and mostly still are (except for the Lie-downs)―my teams. Here’s a really cool post on how these teams got their names.

This phone call from a Planned Parenthood employee reveals the dishonesty this abortion provider is steeped in.

“Forgiving a financial debt costs your balance sheet. Forgiving an owed apology frees you to be generous again.” —Seth Godin

“Prayer and humility, along with a hatred for sin, produces a ‘mind to work.’ ‘So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work’ (Nehemiah 4:6). True revivals of holiness always produce workers. Books and seminars and lectures don’t—but revival does!” —David Wilkerson

%d bloggers like this: