Pastor Ponderings May 20, 2022

I like lions.  I think they are majestic and cool.  I’ll watch documentaries about them because I find them so fascinating.  However, I am pretty sure they scare the tar out of me too.  I remember watching the 1990s movie The Ghosts in the Darkness, the true story of how two man-eating lions managed to stop the production of the Transvaal Railroad in South Africa in 1898 gave me chills.  And I certainly do not want to face what Daniel did, a den full of ravenous lions.  I have often thought in movements of bravado going back to my childhood, that I could be as brave a Daniel.  I could be as committed to God and to prayer like him.  I would have stood up to the King like he did and face the lions.  Or could I?
The part of the story that resonates most with me now is how prayer was so valuable that Daniel was willing to risk everything for his daily conversations with God.  Could I do the same?  Could I claim that my own conversations with God are so deep, so rich and fulfilling that I would risk entering the lion’s den?  Thank God I don’t have to do so, but at the same time I want that intimate relationship with God.  I want those conversations I have with him, prayer, to be highlights of my life each day. 
Too often we let the tangible or the practical get in the way of that.  Sleep is also a common excuse.  Those extra 15 minutes of shut-eye are more important than spending quality time with our Lord and Savior.  Now that is crazy. 
As Christ-followers we know better.  We have been taught better.  We need to do better.  God tells us in 1 Timothy 2: 8, “In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and free from controversy. (NLT)” Prayer connects us to Christ, he is always there, ready for a conversation.  We need to deliberately engage richly and sincerely sharing…EVERYTHING, with Him.  This type of intimate prayer impacts our hearts tremendously.  We feel God’s heart for us and we in turn develop our own heart to be more like his, viewing others as he does.  These conversations wash away anger, bitterness, guilt, and hate.  We need to pray earnestly and often to become the men and women God created us to be.
By the way…