Will we whine or will we pray?

Will we whine or will we pray?

There are lots of things you learn as a parent of a toddler. The latest lesson at our house: whining. My mom used to quote the verse, “do all things without grumbling or complaining” all the time to us kids. Now I know why!

But upon further reflection, I am ashamed to admit, my daughter isn’t the only one in our home with a tendency to whine…In fact, I think Kennedy and I are in a tight race for first place when it comes to who whines the most. My wife calls this version of me “whiny Gunnar.” And nobody likes whiny Gunnar!

I wonder if you’re like me. Do you have a tendency to complain? Perhaps about things in your everyday life. Maybe about the people around you. Or it could even be about the ills of society, the brokenness of our politics, the confusion of our culture.

As we prepare to move out of these summer months and jump into colder weather, busier work schedules, bedtime routines and school nights, and— if you can believe it— an election season, we may find this tendency well up within us to whine and complain.

“Evening, and morning, and at noonday, I will complain…And he will hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)

What if we weren’t allowed to complain unless we prayed first? It would probably stamp out a lot of whining in our life! But more importantly it would drive us to the one person who can actually make a difference in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our communities and country, and even change our hearts in the process.

Your elders and pastors have been challenging one another and the whole congregation to redouble our commitment to prayer, especially to pray that God would “revive our hearts in the midst of the years.” We believe that revival isn’t a fad that comes and goes; revival is the ongoing posture of the people of God.

It is even more critical that we press into prayer and seek the heart of God when we enter our busier seasons. As the sentiment of Martin Luther goes, we are too busy not to pray! As faithful followers of Jesus, we are called to make the ancient motto of St. Benedict our own: “May our work be our prayer and prayer be our work.”

So, how will you make this year different? Will you declare your dependence upon God through prayer? Will you acknowledge your desperate need for his presence, and power, and protection in your life and the lives of those around you? Will you fight the tendency in all of us to lose yourself in the busyness of your life and, instead, make prayer a priority?

We don’t have to do this alone. Nor should we! We believe Jesus’ promise that “when two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.” Now is the time to come together to respond to God’s invitation to seek his face and say with the Psalmist, “Thy face, O Lord, will I seek.”

We are going to gather again for a Prayer and Worship Night tomorrow (Sunday) at 6:30 pm. And there is a pew with your name on it! God is calling YOU to join your church family to intercede for our families, our schools, our community, and country— to seek revival and repentance and renewal. If you want to come early and pray over this time, join us in the back of the Sanctuary at 6:00.

As we head into the fall, will we be whiny or prayerful? Will we go in to this year in the flesh or filled with God’s Spirit? Will we go it alone or will we face all that comes our way locked arm-in-arm with our fellow saints? Will we just talk the talk of religion, or will we do the hard, joyful, eternity-shaking work of prayer?

People of God, it is time for the prayers of the saints to rise up like incense and hear God’s voice thunder from heaven in response: “The Lord will fight for you; you have only to be silent.”

Pastor Gunnar