Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
"Time to dust 'er' off".  I love hunting (not so much since the wolf introduction) and every year there is a constant. It isn't grand stories of adventure, or who got the biggest set of horns, but rather an unintentional confession that goes something like this. "Well there he was on the horizon as the fog just lifted on the crispest of mornings. He was right where he was supposed to be, as was I. I released the safety from old Bessie (I have no idea why men name their favorite firearm after a cow), and took careful aim. Then it happened. When I let fly, as the report lit up the canyon, I saw a branch two feet over the animal explode. I took Bessie to the range, and sure enough --- it was shooting high. I don't know how that could happen. It was dead on when I put it away last year." 
Let's back up a few decades. When I was a kid in Eagle Point Oregon, my friends and I all had 22s. It was a rare day when we didn't go out and shoot something. We went through every form of ammo we could get our hands on. We had a passion for shooting. we shot  shorts, longs, long rifle, and an occasional CB cap. If something was dumb enough to land within a hundred yards of us, it was in imminent danger. Only question was, which one of us would get it first. (This was our most common fight by the way).  What's my Point?  We could hit. We were confident. Why? Because we shot a-lot. Often. Almost constantly.  Now as life gets in the way, we store our treasured riffle for about eleven and a half months, yard her out and pet her, then expect to be proficient. It just doesn't work that way. 
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch.  Our "Bessie" if you will, as Christians, is PRAYER. Yet not unlike our favorite gun, we leave it on the shelf of our life, till season opens?  A constant theme in the Bible is the necessity of prayer. In Eph. 3:14, Paul says: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." For what cause? Well, from our perspective, you name it. From His perspective, so that we might be effective, or bear fruit. That we might have peace. That we can access all the fullness of the Gifts which are Spiritual in nature and give us victory, protection, power, grace, confidence, strength, love and joy. That - "Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." 17-19 
We have classes on prayer; training sessions on prayer, prayer retreats, yet God tells us to "pray without ceasing". We want all this stuff in our lives, but absent prayer, it is inaccessible. Sadly, prayer meetings are the least attended of all the things offered in The Church. More people will show up to learn how to operate the cotton-candy machine than to pray with one another.  Yet, when you get diagnosed with a terminal illness, you instantly become a prayer-warrior. You don't wait for a class or a seminar; you get on your knees.   This becomes your "season". 
Don't wait. Practice now. We often pray before a big decision, or task, but here's a Nugget for you.  Don't pray about the work -- Prayer is the work. God bless.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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