5 Stars Out Of 5
Bill Hybels Urges Readers to Commune With God
July 8, 2016
Prolific author Bill Hybels is the founding pastor of Chicagos Willow Creek Community Church. His influential megachurchs annual Global Leadership Summit reaches people around the world through simulcasts and videos .
Too Busy Not to Pray surprisingly starts by calling prayer embarrassingly unnatural. We are taught to be self-sufficient and successful on our own. But Hybels says God grants us peace, power and spiritual success through prayer and the most intimate communion with God comes only through prayer.
When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works and overcomes psychological, health, family and financial obstaclesoften by amazing coincidences. Prayer brings wisdom, courage, perseverance and changed attitudes and circumstances.
While we may believe intellectually that an omnipotent God created everything and raises the dead, our unbelieving hearts may say He cant help in our personal problems, and so we fail to pray. But our infinitely loving Father God longs to fellowship with us and help us.
Nutritional and exercise discipline pay large benefits. So also do spiritual disciplines, like prayer, but some people count them as too costly. Hybels retorts, Sadly, they end up paying the much higher price of spiritual disease and even death.
He adds that a passive attitudelaying back, watching and letting God do whatever He wantsis at best, nave; at worst, self-deceived. We must have intentionality in building our spiritual livesas we do in our health and finances. We must not fudge our commitments. He writes, I will learn what disciplines are necessary to my prayer life, and I will practice these disciplines regularly, without fail.
Having a set time and place to pray and a prayer journal help Hybels. His journal aids his focus. Its record of miraculous answers builds his faith and fires him up to pray more. He recommends, Make your prayers regular, private, sincere and specific and use ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
The Creator of every galaxy loves us individually and gives us every spiritual blessing in Christ. As we adore His attributes, as by praying through a Psalm, we gain His perspective on our problems and renewed faith in Him and His Word.
Confessing our sins lets us fellowship with and call upon holy God. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened (Psalm 66:18).
Hybels thanks God daily for answered prayers and blessingsspiritual, relational and material.
In supplication, we tell our mountain-moving God our problems and give them to him: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:2).
What about unanswered prayers? Hybels counsels that God says no to wrong ones;,slow to ones with bad timing and grow to us when we are wrong. But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, Go!
God may answer not yet to:
Test, forge, and strengthen our faith. When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6).
Get us to modify our requests to better align with His will.
Grow uswe may need pain, struggle, confusion and disappointment to build our patience and submission.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
A big prayer impediment is worldlinessgetting snared by societys agenda, activities and goals. Hybels advises, The archenemy of spiritual authenticity is busyness. It squeezes out Gods still, small voice, which we must hear and obey. Relationships with God and our families need time.
Jesus set our example: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35).