On February 18, ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International - an organization of which we are a part) will hold a day of prayer that we will participate in. When I read Ephesians 6:18, I wonder why we have only a day of prayer. Here is what it says: “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Notice the use of ‘all’ in the first sentence: all occasions, all kinds of prayer. My problem with those ‘alls’ is simply that I cannot sustain ‘all.’ I can do ‘sometimes.’ I can even muster an ‘often,’ but the ‘all’ is a bit more than I can handle.
But isn’t that exactly like God? He demands excellence in me that isn’t there. “Be holy, because I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 20:7). And so I am stuck. That passage goes on
to tell us a bit about the impossible demand of being holy and, by implication, the impossible demand on ‘all.’ “Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy” (Lev. 20:8). It is the Lord who makes me holy. Not only is this the imputed holiness we have as we repent and trust Christ but the conforming holiness we know as we daily repent and trust Him to work in us and change our appetites and desires. It is God’s work in us!
So that is our hope in ‘all.’ It is God who changes us so that, while we are having a conversation and realize we don’t know what to say, we send up (even while we are listening to the other person) a quick acknowledgement of need and hope in the Spirit’s work through us.
Now I can face the ‘all.’ My morning time of prayer is filled in with the short “arrow” prayers of need. My afternoon is halted by again recognizing that the task is too great and that Jesus loves to carry those burdens. So then my day of prayer becomes days of prayer.
Could you begin to pray for ICS? We will be sending more information about the ACSI Day of Prayer soon.