What happens when you stop praying?

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What happens when you stop praying?  Seriously, have you ever thought about this?  What really happens during this time?  I am a prayer group leader at my Christian fellowship and I found that there were times when I simply forgot to pray.  Immediately after a big retreat with InterVarsity everyone was so hyped and excited, but as time progressed slowly and slowly things started to pile up with school.  Before I knew it I was sitting on the train and realizing that I hadn’t spent any time in prayer with God for an entire week.  How did this even happen?

The sad part is what it took for me to realize this was because I was beginning to feel weaker and weaker in my faith.  Ever since our retreat my history class has started a new section, the life of Jesus and the old testament.  We are essentially studying the bible together.  The only difference is that instead of praising God in many ways I felt as though God was being attacked.

The funny thing is that the minute I felt as though I was being attacked I retreated instead of pulling closer to God.  I let these words being spoken against my father break me and I stopped praying.  When I realized this I couldn’t even understand how I allowed myself to do this.  Here I was in the Christian battlefield and as arrows are being flung against me, instead of pulling out my armor I decide to walk out defenseless into an open field.

Luckily, even when I am so careless, God is always in control and covered me so carefully and wonderfully when I was unworthy.

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We forget that limits do not apply when we are talking to the creator of heaven and earth.  We are so used to the way in which things are done in our lives that the idea of something supernatural or beyond our understanding is incomprehensible.  This is because we are human beings, are more than anything else we are so limited.

But this limit is not placed on God.  You may feel as though you have no control, and you may not.  The important thing is that God does have control and he’s the only thing that actually matters.

It’s easy to be a Christian in the constraints of a Christian club and church.  Being a Christian means going out where no one else believes what you believe and standing firm on your ground.

Its funny because I remember saying how I was so angry about registering for this teacher because he had amazing reviews on ratemyprofessor.com and I was so sure he would be good.  I never anticipated how against religion he would be.  He told us to try being Christians in the finance world and reap all of the pain that comes along with that.  But when I mentioned this to other people they told me I was wrong and that he had horrible ratings on line and that I must have read them wrong.  Their words were enough for me to doubt something I was confident of.

When I went home a few hours later I remembered what they said and looked up ratings for my teacher again, they were amazing.  I was right and I doubted myself because of what other people around me told me.

So many times I fee l like this very same thing happens when I’m in history class.  I know what I believe, I have evidence in my very life to prove it.  But when I am told I am wrong, its hard for me not to stand my ground.

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God calls us to be so much more.  God wants so much more from us.  And this is why prayer is so important.  This is our direct connection to our father and our King of Kings.  As long as you are willing to pray, you will hear from God.  But in the process you must also rid yourself of everything else that comes before him in your life.

Time is one of the most important things in the world.  Stop giving your time to people who hurt you, things that do not matter and wasting away your life.  You become more and more like the people you surround yourself with.  Surround yourself with the presence of God, and pray to your father.

Love is no joke

I’ve heard the word love thrown around so carelessly far too often.  But I doubt that this would be the case if we started to realize what it actually meant to love, and what the definition of love actually means.  I just finished watching a video on YouTube from the “Desiring God” Conference featuring Francis Chan.

He spoke about the love that Christ has for us, this kind of love that is sacrificial.  I couldn’t help but think that most of the time when I see this so called thing called “love”, it’s so selfish.  We think we’re in love with someone and suddenly our need and desire to be with them outweighs their wants.  We are selfish.

But the love of God isn’t supposed to be like that, not at all.  The love of God places a burden on our hearts where we genuinely care about the people around us.  Not for social networking or for the ways in which they can benefit us, but just because we love.
1 Corinthians 13 teaches of the importance of love.  Can we really understand that without love we are nothing?  That or acts and our works amount to nothing.

So when I see the word love thrown around, or when a friend causally says that they love me.  I think, do they know what it really means to love?  Do they know how great it is to truly love like Christ loves?  And how much you sacrifice in loving in this capacity?  It is nothing to laugh about and I pray they take it seriously.  Because I didn’t.  I thought love was just feeling or a liking towards someone.

No, love is sacrifice and when you look at the father it is perfectly exemplified through his blood.  That’s what it means to love.

Yet another thing we need to be aware of is the meaning of the opposite of love.  I realized it first from a video from BlimeyCow on Youtube.  The opposite of love is not hate.  Nor is it indifference.  The opposite of love is fear.  Fear is crippling, fear is limiting and fear is… well kinda scary.  But perfect love casts out ALL fear.

I want to learn what it actually means to love in my life.  I want to learn what it means to have a burden for the people around me.  To weep for their salvation and love in a way so selflessly.

To this day I think of something my friend told me when we were about to lead a GIG together (Groups Investigating God, small group for nonbelievers or different faiths to come together and learn about God).  She told me that I had to love the people in our GIG,and I replied by saying “oh yeah, I’ll care about them”, and I was so shocked by the way she responded, “No you have to love them, really love them.”  I felt so touched by this kind of love that loves without requirements or quotas.  The kind of love of Christ.

Please, love.  love knowing the severity of this action, love sincerely and fully, as I pray to learn how to love.