Yesterday I had lunch with a good friend of mine, Pastor John. He is just one of those guys that oozes Jesus. He is like a big shaggy dog that comes out of the water and then stops and shakes and every living creature within 15 feet of him gets soaked. That's what happens when you hang out with John, except instead of getting soaked with water you get soaked with Jesus. We get together and have lunch every couple of months to catch up and encourage each other. Our normal meeting place is the Chili's in Indian Springs.
Every single time we get together we end up praying with and for our waitor or waitress and yesterday was no exception. Yesterday we had the chance to pray for and encourage Dustin, who just had his first baby named Tony. What is it about Pastor John that makes him this way? One thing that stands out about him is his prayer life. Every morning at 4:00 AM he heads over to the Branch Crossing YMCA and prays for 3 hours (wow, what a way to start your day). In John 15, Jesus says, 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me."
Prayer is how we 'abide' in Christ or 'live' in Him. When we are praying we are expressing our trust in Jesus. We are claiming His promises toward us which strengthens our hope. We are interceding for others which makes us more loving. As a result of praying and abiding, we start to bear fruit and we see God in us impacting the people that are around us. So maybe you and I aren't ready to pray 3 hours every morning, but perhaps we can pray a little more today than we did yesterday and allow Christ to shine through us to the people we encounter throughout our day.
"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death"