One of the books I had read in-between the holidays was Dan Dumas’ Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants for You. While the author aims his content at young people—a category seen only in my rear-view mirror—his counsel is for one and all.
Listen to what Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writes about his friend and fellow staffer in the foreword (Dumas serves as a senior vice president):1
When I read a book, I want to have confidence that the author knows what he is talking about. Dan Dumas is the right man to write this book… I know him as a committed Christian and I get to watch him as a man of character, a powerful leader, a teacher, a husband, a father, and a man of boundless energy. When you read this book, you will see why I am so thankful for this friend.
Mr. Dumas has decided to show us his scars. Many of them are the same as yours and mine. Real world struggles. And he follows them up with the appropriate biblical strategies we need to successfully live for the glory of God.
While I didn’t read this book in one sitting, I believe I could have. Live Smart is an enormously valuable resource. I found so much to be so applicable that I often had to stop and reflect upon it. Our love for God, His Church, and our neighbors are all in-play, page after page. One such topic was that of prayer.
Next to Bible reading, prayer is the most important part of your life. We need to learn to pray. Again, I’m not putting a law on you. God doesn’t want you to be burdened with guilt. If you’re in Christ, He loves you and will give you nothing but grace. One way to gain access to this grace is through prayer. Prayer is an invitation to know God and see Him answer.
A lot of Christians struggle to pray. Why is that? Why don’t we pray? I would suggest three possible reasons, though there are more:
1. Indifference—we don’t believe it matters or that it changes anything.
2. Independence—we think we can handle everything without God’s help, as though we can muscle our way into the kingdom.
3. Importance—we don’t think it’s an important part of our life compared to everything else going on.
Can you relate to any of these struggles? I think most of us can.
Which one of these three has your name on it? Is there one that needs be to addressed ASAP? (Sadly, I checked off all three.) But there is hope. One helpful suggestion Dan Dumas gives (and he lists a handful) has put me back on the right track.
Early in my Christian life, my mentor told me to pray for thirty minutes after reading my Bible. So I listened, and it changed my entire trajectory.
Yes, it is early in 2017. I’m only a few days into praying after my time of reading. No, I’m not timing it to hit the thirty-minute mark. However, I’m now headed in the right direction thanks to his wise counsel. May this post encourage you to do the same.