When my wife and I were going through a seven-year period of secondary infertility, we often found ourselves completely unable to understand what God was doing in our lives. Our prayers were seemingly going unanswered and we often wondered what God was trying to teach us. I sometimes found myself wondering if we were praying for the right answer.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” One of my mentors, Grady Higgs, often says that “nothing heavenly happens on earth without prayer.” In other words, there are things God is willing to do – wants to do – but He has chosen to do them only in response to prayer.
Richard Baxter once prayed, “Lord, what thou wilt, when thou wilt, where thou wilt.” And he meant it. But where on earth can we go to find a place where God’s will is done perfectly? Nowhere – only in God’s “kingdom” is His will carried out with perfection.
We’re beginning a new Wednesday night Bible study series on prayer and it’s based on the book by David Jeremiah, Prayer, the Great Adventure. We’ve been talking a lot about the theme of “Search & Rescue” as the missional focus of our church in a lost culture, and prayer is the power-giving foundation of being missional, so we’re going to use our midweek adult Bible studies to strengthen this area of our church family’s life.
Prayer is something that most people believe in. If you believe in some kind of higher power(s), you believe in some kind of prayer. If you believe that the triune God of Scripture is exclusively God, as I do, then you believe that biblical prayer is the only true kind of prayer. But that doesn’t seem to settle the issue. What does the Bible say about prayer? It depends on whom you ask.
Isn’t summer supposed to be our vacation from the busyness of life? This summer, for the Cox family, is flying right by in a whirlwind of activity. We’ve traveled to see family in three different states (Missouri and Georgia for Angie, Kentucky for me). We’re getting ready to spend a week at church camp. And then, it will be time for Angie to return to work, for me to get busy with a new church year, and for Ella to begin Kindergarten.
This past Sunday, I began preaching in Genesis with chapter one, verse one. The message started a lengthy commitment to preaching all of the word. I don’t think I’ve ever been as satisfied by a message in all of my ministry. I had studied and prepared for about six weeks for just the first chapter of Genesis. So how was it? Exhilarating!
Today was kind of tough… for Momma anyway. We saw our little girl “walk the line” to graduate from Preschool. The theme was What A Wonderful World, which all nineteen graduates sang together. They actually played Pomp and Circumstance as they marched in. She got a diploma and an award for Developing the Most in Confidence throughout the year. We’re so proud!
This week is very monumental for me. I am preparing to begin preaching through the entire Bible this Sunday morning. It has been a ministry-long dream. Since reading the autobiography of Dr. W. A. Criswell, who preached through the Scriptures over an almost eighteen year period at First Baptist Church in Dallas, it has seemed an unreachable and impossible task. I can’t tell you how much I’ve thought and prayed about this assignment.
Well, we’ve been the parents of but one child for almost five years now. I remember Bill Cosby saying something about us not being allowed to use the title “parent” until there were at least two. This morning, we had three. Me, Angie, Ella, Jayden, and little Quinton all headed down to the Hotel breakfast area… so the adventure began. It was a packed house and we found one little tall table in the corner. We made about six trips for food, napkins, drinks, forks, and then some more napkins.