Do you believe in coincidence? I don’t. When you believe in a sovereign God who is active in the every-day details of life, you realize that nothing happens “by chance.” He is in control, and, if we open our spiritual eyes, we can recognize His providential work all around us each day.
Which brings me to an old quote I was reminded of again this week, from William Temple, an Anglican priest and the former Archbishop of Canterbury. I’m not sure if it was delivered “tongue-in-cheek,” but it sure makes a great point. The archbishop said, “When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.”
There is within that simple, yet profound, statement a recognition that God works His purpose in our lives as we pray. Things that would not otherwise happen, do happen–“coincidentally,” the world might say–when we pray. And when we don’t pray–coincidentally enough–they don’t happen.
Quite frankly, I was convicted of that statement, because I realize that often I sit around and wait for things to happen, when God allows me the privilege of being a part of their happening by engaging in the ministry of prayer. There’s no telling what “coincidences” I might have missed because I didn’t pray.
With that in mind, I wanted to remind each of you to take seriously the Christian responsibility–and privilege–of prayer. I believe that prayer is the most important ministry each of us have as Christians. At the very least, I hope you will pray for yourself and your family each day, and also pray for our church family. If you are not sure what to pray for our church, let me make a few suggestions:
Pray for God’s protection for our body from the enemy’s attacks, and for purity and unity in our church fellowship. Pray for the moving of the Holy Spirit in our church, not just on Sundays as we gather in worship, but as we are about our Father’s business throughout the week.
Pray that the gospel would go forth from our church, and that God would empower our witness, as He provides us “divine appointments” with those He would have us to reach. Pray for the Lord’s provision of the financial needs of our church, that we might increase and expand our ministries beyond our walls. Pray that He will open doors for us to meet practical needs and serve “the least of these” in His name. Pray for our staff, elders and deacons, as well as all those who serve weekly in the ministry of our church, that the Lord would lead us, mature us, protect us, and use us for His glory.
I can’t wait to see the “coincidences” happen in our lives individually and collectively as The Church at Shelby Crossings as we get serious about praying for God to do His work in His church.
I’m praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.