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Wake Up, Step Up, Pray Up

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Wake Up, Step Up, Pray Up - April 21, 2006

I tied up my tennies with a giant eye-roll. If only giant eye-rolls earned aerobic points. I could take the shoes back off, curl up and snooze for another forty minutes.

No sleep after a wake-up call, though. The wake-up call came the day before as I was trying to squeeze into my new skirt. I finally squirmed into it, but I realized if I wanted to zip the thing, I could only keep one of my buns. Who attached all the extra chub to my backside? Definite wake-up call. Unless I was going in for at least a partial bun-ectomy, there would have to be some lifestyle changes. Argh. Exercise.

So there it was, the first day of yet another new exercise routine. One more of those "first day of the rest of your life" things- only not necessarily the pleasant kind. I thought about trying an outdoor regimen until I remembered that not only does nature cause me to do a "too hot" or "too cold" or "too many bugs" whine, but adding those last ten bun-pounds had added a lot more wind resistance than I had before. Who needs to be mocked by wind? I prayed for a better attitude through the first ten minutes. The last ten minutes I prayed something more like, "Lord Jesus, come quickly."
Probably not one of my more spiritually mature prayer moments.

Every day should be a wake-up reminder that prayer is an enormously high privilege. And it's such a high gift when someone prays for us. Peter experienced one of the highest of high prayer moments when Jesus told him that He, the Lord of lords, King of kings, had prayed for him. In Luke 22:32, right before the cross, we read the words Jesus said right to Peter's face, "I have prayed for you." Is there any higher prayer?

Guess what. Those highest of high prayer moments are yours, too. Jesus has prayed for you! John 17:6-19 is Jesus' amazing, gracious prayer for all who are His. If you've given your life to Christ, you're included in the glorious "them" in verse nine when Jesus said, "I pray for them." Imagine, the One who holds the universe together praying for YOU!

Jesus knows how to pray so much more completely than we do. A few verses later in the passage in Luke, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. He asked His disciples to pray, too. What a contrast in the way Jesus prayed and the way His disciples prayed. Jesus sought the Father with intense fervor, so earnestly that He was sweating blood. The disciples? They dozed off.

I wonder if there's a connection between the disciples snoozing and their state of mind just a few verses before when they were arguing about which one of them would go down in history as the greatest. Pretty prideful, selfish stuff. But when Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, He prayed for his Father's will- even though He knew that meant His own horrendous suffering. They were prayers of surrender, prayers of complete humility and definitive selflessness.

Our goal in our prayer lives should always be to be surrendered, humble, selfless- and to pray fervently; not to doze off. When Jesus finished His ardent prayer and then found His disciples sleeping, He said to them "Why are you asleep? Wake up and pray that you won't be tested." (Luke 22:46, CEV)

We open ourselves up to temptation and testing when we don't stay fervent in prayer.

Let's let this be our wake-up call to prayer. Going higher places with the Father in prayer means we need to be willing to pray like Jesus- humbly, selflessly and fervently- just as going to slimmer places in skinny skirts may mean we need to be willing to sweat. Hey, it's got to be better than a bun-ectomy.

Rhonda Rhea is the author of "Who Put the Cat in the Fridge" and other insanely fun books, including "Amusing Grace" and "Turkey Soup for the Soul--Tastes Just Like Chicken." She is a radio personality and humor columnist and speaks at conferences and events nationwide. Rhonda lives in the St. Louis area with her pastor/husband and their five children. Find out more at www.RhondaRhea.net.
 
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I enjoyed reading this.

Galatians 2:20,"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Hebrews 3:6, "But Christ, God's faithful Son, is in complete charge of God's house. And we Christians are God's house—He lives in us!—if we keep up our courage firm to the end, and our joy and our trust in the Lord."
 

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