Passion for Prayer, Purity and People:
WHAT IS PASSION? It can be defined as “strong feeling or emotion” or “something that is desired intensely” or “a kind of enthusiastic fondness for anything.” Are you passionate about God? Would you describe God as someone you “desire intensely”? Is the Christian life something you are enthusiastically passionate about? If not, you’re not the only one. But today is a new day. Let’s purpose to pursue God passionately, and pursue these three things – prayer, purity, and people.
1. HAVING A PASSION FOR PRAYER
Psalm 42:1 says “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul longs for you, O God.” Having a passion for prayer means having passion for God – but some people don’t have that. Why? Because they don’t realize how wonderful our God really is. If they did, I think they’d want to be with Him more often. Consider these words spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31). There‘s such a joy and strength that comes from being in the presence of God! Do you know what it means to wait on the Lord? This is something that we 21st Century, North American Christians have a problem with – because we live in an “instant, drive-thru” society. We want it all, and we want it five minutes ago! But to really experience the presence of God doesn’t happen by rushing in and out quickly. It happens when we set aside some quality quiet time to get alone until you’re not alone anymore. “Be still and know that I am God.” said the Psalmist! (Psalm 46:10). I want to stir you up to have a passion for prayer. Don’t treat it as a religious duty – something that you HAVE to do. No! Prayer is something we GET to do. Think about it: The Lord God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, has opened His throne room of grace and said, “Come in!” Let’s respond to our loving Heavenly Father’s invitation to be with Him, to wait on Him, be still, and hear His voice.
2. HAVING A PASSION FOR PURITY
Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Purity is so important because only the pure in heart will see God. Do you want to see Him? Although God is love, God is also holy, and if we want to be in God’s presence, then we must also be holy! Consider these words: “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:1-3). One reason people don’t have a passion for God or prayer is because they haven’t tasted His goodness. That’s why the Bible says to confess your sins, so God can forgive you and wash you clean (1 John 1:9). There’s a joy and peace that comes from the purity that God gives. Second Timothy 2:21-22 says “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from everything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right.”
3. HAVING A PASSION FOR PEOPLE
“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
God wants us to get involved in one another’s lives. He wants us to encourage one another. It’s not good enough to have a passion for prayer and purity – it’s not just about you and your relationship with God. But we’re all a part of God’s family, and we need each other. We need to pray for one another, love one another, and bear one another’s burdens. Why? Because He’s coming back again – and soon.
Pastor Chris Jordan