The coffee bean is a tiny thing that drives many people through the day. Maybe we don’t “need” it to survive, per se, but, for some, it plays a critical role in our ability to function effectively and apparently helps us live longer.
Prayer similarly has this effervescent power to move us forward through the circumstances we face and grant longevity. Unlike a caffeinated drink, though, it’s far more potent in terms of how it changes our abilities to react well to our world.
Prayer is vital because it requires humility to admit we don’t have anything under control. It reboots the system and realigns us with God’s will.
“The only way to fail in prayer is to not show up,” Tim Dilena, pastor and World Challenge board member, pointed out.
If we want to do well in our ministries and lives, we have to pray. If we want to continue to do well long into the future, we absolutely must pray.
Learning Why, How and When to Submit
In Luke 22:42, Jesus says a strange thing: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus should technically be equal to God the Father as a member of the triune godhead, right? However, if he sees submission to the Father as so important that he states it out loud on the eve of his own brutal death to be recorded in the Bible, then we should probably take note. The bottom line is he modeled humility that believers need to follow.
No one is such a preeminent expert that they can’t learn something new from someone else. Beyond that practical advice, though, is a perhaps stranger truth: God often chooses to move through authority to grant blessing and answers to prayer that he may not gift otherwise.
As we submit to authority, we echo Christ’s submission to the heavenly Father, and that will help us stay in the race like little else can.
Resting in God’s Goodness
A lot of people will say that the secret to longevity is rest. Whether it’s getting away with your spouse to rekindle the flame or taking a step back from a ministry to remember that it’s God’s, not yours—rest is vital.
“What does it mean to ‘rest in God’?” David Wilkerson asked in a daily devotional.
“It is to come to a place of total trust in the Lord’s promises — a place where there is no longer any struggle of doubt or fear, but rather a settled confidence. It is a continual belief that God is with us, that he cannot fail, and that he who has called us will see us through.”
Spiritual rest is what makes us meditate on how intensely fragile and finite we are and then conversely how powerful, good and infinite God is.
For one person this may be an intense hike while internally submitting a problem in their life to God. For another this may be gathering with Christian friends who can encourage them. For yet someone else, this might be reading a theologically sound book, writing a meditation on God or attending a prayer service.
When our souls submit to God in prayer, in the authority he’s put over us and in obeying his call to rest, then we will find that our Lord grants us the strength to endure for the long run.
Rachel Chimits is a writer for World Challenge, a global ministry that aims to transform lives through the message and mission of Jesus Christ.