Pray for Boldness
Do you ever get bored of just going through the motions with church? This may sound odd for a Pastor to say this... but it's very easy for me to get bored with church. Why? Because I worry that sometimes the way we are living our lives as Christians here in our 2011 Canadian culture just doesn't match up with what I read in the New Testament. It gets way too easy to evaluate how the modern day church is doing spiritual by looking at the number of people who come and enjoy what they experience... it's much more difficult to evaluate life change and transformation.
Over the past couple of weeks I've been studying Paul's letter of Philemon. Paul wrote this letter to a wealthy slave owner named Philemon asking him to welcome back as a brother in Christ the runaway slave Onesimus. This isn't normally a letter that we preach all that much on... maybe it's because it doesn't contain any deep theological view of God or Christ... or maybe we're just uncomfortable with slavery being so openly talked about... Whatever the reason... I think we need to be preaching from this book much more often! Over the past couple of weeks I've just be AMAZED at how much this little letter is bothering me as I examine my own life.
One thing I love about the apostle Paul is his boldness. There's is no need to try to figure out his priorities in life. He's an open book and is very bold in telling people his view point. And God blesses that! Despite being put in jail and being beaten and nearly killed... Paul remains bold in his calling to preach the Good News of Jesus.
We see this same boldness in all the Apostles. In fact, they flat out pray for this boldness in Acts 4:29.
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
For me, church starts getting boring when we're constantly praying for safety, comfort or blessings from God. I'm not saying we shouldn't be praying for those things... but there is just seems to be something missing when we are not praying that we, as God's people in this world, for the boldness to live and share our faith. It seems to me like God shows up and in the biggest, most spectacular ways when we pray that we will be bold.
To be honest, I'm not all that interested in safety and comfort. I want God to rock my world! I want to see God do HUGE things here at my church, in my family, in my community, in my city, in my country and in my world. I'm not satisfied with just putting on a church service that people enjoy coming to. God is so much bigger than that!
Paul had the guts to make big BOLD requests of Philemon. He had the guts to ask him to go against everything the world around him would have told him.
And the question I ask myself this week is, do I? Do I have the guts to be just as bold? This is why I'll be praying like the apostles prayed... I'm praying that I'd always always always have the guts to speak God's word with boldness... in a spirit of care, love, support and encouragement.
How about you? You bored? Maybe you should join me in praying for boldness and we can see together just what God might do! :)