Tuesday, November 21
- A. Carson, Praying with Paul, p. xiv. “We are better at organizing than agonizing, better administering than interceding, better at fellowshipping than fasting, better at theological articulation than spiritual adoration, better at preaching than praying.” There’s enough ammunition there to write five blogs, but I won’t do that for several reasons, chiefly that I’m not sure I could survive the salvo. All of that touches my life more than I would like to admit. But since Carson is writing about prayer, let’s go there. [But I urge you to meditate on those first four.] Prayer and preaching the word were the two things that the Apostles took to heart for their own ministry. Evidently, they got their marching orders from Christ himself. I’m sure that there were many other things that needed to be done, but the Apostles stuck to their focus on preaching and prayer and delegated the other things to other—as they did in Acts 6. The early Church was extremely successful. Within a few years there were church groups in almost every city and town in Judea and Samaria. Yes, God was at work; there were multiple miracles, but there was a lot of persecution, too. God allowed people to die in the process—Stephen and the Apostle James among them. But the Church had an awesome start, largely because the Apostles were faithful in sticking to preaching and prayer. Carson seems to view preaching as a lower priority than prayer, but I think he’s just observing that today’s ministers would rather spend time on preaching than on prayer. Prayer is the neglected part of most evangelical efforts in our day. We need to return to the Apostolic practice. It worked in the first century; it will work now.