My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prioritizing Spiritual Disciplines

Quiz for Christ Followers:

Greatest Commandment is....___________
Second Greatest Commandment is...____________
(Hint:  matthew 22:34-39)

Chances are that if you have been a Christ follower for a year or more, you probably got that one right.  Good job.  A+

Here's a second quiz that bothered me today:  What spiritual discipline should be the highest priority for Christ followers?  Should there be a priority list?  Are some more important than others?

As I read the Bible in the book of Acts today, I think there might be a right answer to this...and if life-application is the grading curve, I think I've flunked this quiz. 

It's not uncommon to get excited about the "Acts 2 church" and desire to mimic their devotion "to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (2:42).  But these disciplines, being lumped together, don't really provide a priority list for us...or do they?  Turn back a chapter and we get some clarity:

Acts Chapter One Scenario:  Jesus has ascended into heaven...has instructed the believers to go back to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit...and then we read the FIRST discipline, the FIRST priority, the FIRST activity of the Christ followers:

"All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." Acts 1:14

The first activity the people of God committed themselves to was prayer.  It was the foundation for all that had happened, all that was happening, and all that was about to happen.

You may enjoy the discipline of Theological Study, of Community, etc.  But I believe that what really matters in the end is a devotion to prayer that will align, illuminate, and cultivate the other activities to their utmost potential and purpose.

What priority is prayer in your life?  Me?  It's lumped into all the disciplines & activities of a believer, but I'm more convinced than ever to re-prioiritze, re-position, and renew my commitment to prayer.

So, what do you think?  Is that a fair assessment?  Is the activity of prayer MORE important than other activities and disciplines?  Do you think spiritual priorities exist, or should we just lump them all together?

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

Prayer is communicating with can there be true relationship without communication? It's essential, like breathing. If even Jesus needed to get away and pray, then we certainly do too!