A temporary Sunday School teacher was struggling to open a combination lock on the supply cabinet. She had been told the combination, but couldn't quite remember. Finally, she went to the pastor's study and asked for help. The pastor came into the room and began to turn the dial. After the first two numbers he paused and stared blankly for a moment, and then he looked serenely heavenward while his lips moved silently. Suddenly he looked back at the lock and quickly turned to the final number, opening the lock. The teacher was amazed. "I'm in awe at your faith, pastor," she said. "It's really nothing," the pastor answered. "The number is on a piece of tape on the ceiling."
Tomorrow morning, I'm scheduled to attend a gathering at a downtown church to support my friend, Jerry McCullough, Arlington School Superintendent, who will be speaking at a breakfast for the National Day of Prayer. Though our President has chosen not to recognize the day like previous Presidents [see today's news report], thousands of other Americans from all walks of life will pause to remember the importance of prayer.
I preached on prayer this last week as a conclusion to our short, Spiritual Warfare series. But, let me be honest: Prayer is hard for me. It always has been. I actually enjoy the dialogue of prayer. It's just the discipline of getting to the conversation that is a daily challenge for me.
Still, I am convinced that prayer is where spiritual battles are fought. Prayer is how we lay claim to the power of God to "stand firm" with spiritual victory. Prayer is how we wear the armor of God [Ephesians 6:10-20]. Prayer is turning to God, talking to God and trusting in God. Apart from the practice of prayer, none of us can unlock the supply cabinet of heaven--God's resources for abundant living. So I write to remind you--and me--to keep looking up in prayer.