Thursday, February 08, 2007

Old Friend

I ran across someone I had long since forgotten. This was someone about whose life I never really knew much. Frank Laubach is well known as an educator and is especially remembered for his work in the Philippines to promote literacy. He taught illiterate people the alphabet and in a matter of hours they were able to teach others the alphabet. This is how Frank is remembered as a master educator. He wrote countless books and is frequently cited in educational literature.

However, people do not know about the private side of Frank’s life. He was also a deeply Christian man. The richness of his devotion to God was revealed in his very active prayer life and also in his missionary work to the Philippine people.

What most interests me about Frank Laubauch is a very brief pamphlet he wrote on prayer. It seems that Frank began experimenting with keeping God ever on his heart and living in a state of constant prayer. His experiment grew out of a frustration that he had been a minister for about fourteen years, yet he did not have the kind of prayer life or relationship with God that he felt he should have. In a matter of a few months, Frank began attempting to contemplate (think about) God at least one second out of every minute throughout the entire day. It seems like a ridiculous venture, but one that comes out of a deep desire to have relationship with God. It seems like an impossible venture, but it is an adventure that, if you move past what seems like legalistic second-counting, actually describes an obvious and abiding relationship with God. I encourage you to read this short pamphlet (click here).

Even more, I challenge you to give it a try and experiment with ceaseless prayer. One of my favorite passages is written by a guy named Paul in a letter he wrote to the ancient town of Thessalonica in Greece.

Rejoice always,

Pray without ceasing,

Give Thanks in all circumstances

For this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

The old friend that we really need to reconnect with is God. How is it that people claim to be "Christians" or disciples or followers of Jesus and yet do not spend their lives in friendship with Him? Prayer and conversation with God is maybe something we do at meal time or hear at church. There is an old friend we need to reconnect with.

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