Raymond Dee Smith

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Recharging Your Batteries – Power, Perspective and Wisdom – Mark 1:35

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Power, Perspective and Wisdom through Prayer – Mark 1:35

Lesson 2 from the Book of Mark

 

Everyday I have a ritual I follow. As soon as I wake up I reach for my iPhone. It has been plugged in all night so that I begin every day with a full charged battery. I have a charger in my truck and another on my desk at work. When I am not on my phone I am charging it. It is an important piece of my life.

From my phone I get my email and my text messages. I keep up with what’s happening on Facebook. Lord knows I don’t want to miss a cute cat video! Really, I don’t want to miss what’s happening with our family that lives miles and miles away from us. I also like keeping up with my friends I don’t see on a daily basis. I use my phone as a voice recorder and to take notes. I play music through my phone. It is invaluable to me when I am not at home to watch the Mavs or the Rangers because I can get up to the minute scores. Oh, and every once and awhile, I use it to make calls.

As you can tell, it is important to me that my phone’s battery is charged so I won’t miss out on any important happenings. Well the same is true with our personal battery. We have to charge it on a daily basis just like Jesus did:

 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 (NIV)

Many times in Scripture, we see Jesus going to a solitary place to pray. This was His way of connecting with His heavenly Father and recharging his batteries for what He needed to do. When you think about it, Jesus was literally carrying the sins of eternity on His back, something he didn’t necessarily want to do. He prayed that the cup be taken from him:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 (NIV)

He needed strength from His Father to go through the horrific torture and then the brutal crucifixion on the cross. In this case, He actually prayed a second time about this same subject:

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26:42 (NIV)

Jesus was preparing Himself to be sacrificed for the sins of eternity. He would do this by dying on the cross, shedding innocent blood, so all may have a way to have their sins forgiven and spend eternity in heaven. I doubt any of us have faced a more daunting task!

power - mlk jr

The key for Jesus to accomplish this was through prayer. Whether it was preparing to go to the cross or just another day preaching to the masses, Jesus plugged himself in to His Father and the power that comes through prayer.

My workday usually starts about 4:30 AM. I begin it by reading at least one chapter of scripture and one chapter of Proverbs. After this I spend a few minutes in prayer. When Wendy gets up we have a short devotion time and we pray together before I leave for work. Sometimes during my one hour drive to work, I will pray again. If you travel on the George Bush toll road or I35 going to Denton, I may be praying for you! Prayer does three things for me:

  1. Prayer gives me power!
  2. Prayer gives me perspective!
  3. Prayer helps me with wisdom!

Much like plugging my iPhone into a charger, prayer charges my batteries. Why? It is the promise we have when we pray:

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.” Matthew 21:22 (MSG)

How can that not energize you? As you begin your day, through prayer and Christ, you can overcome whatever obstacle or challenge you have before you. Through prayer, God can enable you to do what is impossible for you but very possible for Him.

Do you have a difficult conversation you have to have? Then pray God will give you wisdom during that conversation. Do you just have a massive number of tasks to complete? Then pray God will make you effective and efficient. Do you have a bad attitude? Pray God will change it.

Prayer is like that iPhone power cable. There is an immediate sense of power and hope that through Christ, I will be able to handle whatever that day will throw at me. It doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges and that things will go smoothly, but it does mean that I have Christ on my side and if God be for us, who can stand against us!

Prayer does another thing that I would like to address. It provides perspective.

perspective - joel osteen

Numerous times as I am praying, I would remember a similar situation or something I read. This sheds light on the current situation and provides perspective on how to handle the task or issue. Another way that I have received perspective through prayer is when I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to put myself in someone else’s shoes. How do they see this situation and how will it affect them. This reminds me that decisions I make affect others and that I need to be careful and act with wisdom.

Wisdom! This is something we can all use. Wisdom is defined as:

the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight. Dictionary.com

At age 52, I have a lot of experiences to recall that can help me be more discerning and to make sure I am doing what is right with just judgment, but I don’t always use it. I tend to be very decisive, which is not always a bad thing, but can be when I am upset. When I use wisdom in these situations I will wait before reacting, often putting off a decision or a discussion until the next day when I can act with a clear mind instead of allowing my emotions to dictate my actions. I wish I was really good at this. Some days I am but most days this is a challenge. But this is where prayer comes into play yet again:

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (NIV)

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. James 1:5-6 (MSG)

You see if we pray for wisdom, God will give it to us. If we don’t know what we are doing, God will help us figure it out. All we have to do is ASK! So when we find ourselves in situations where we need wisdom, PRAY FOR IT! I need to take this part to heart!

I have had the privilege to have several mentors in my life. The one thing each and everyone of them possessed was wisdom. Some of them it was based on their experience but for many of them it was based on asking God for it and then trusting Him to be right. He never failed them.

Wisdom is a tremendous leadership tool that you must have in your arsenal. The best place to gain wisdom is through prayer.

As you can see, as a leader, prayer plays an important part of our career. If we will turn to Christ on a daily basis we will find power, perspective and wisdom. What leader has too much of that?

Here is a prayer from Beliefnet.com that would be a good starting point:

Workplace Prayer

This week try starting everyday with prayer. I know it will make a difference!

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  1. I have an audio bible on my phone and listen to it on the train going to and from work. It helps me prepare for my day and also helps me relax and make sense of my life on the way home.

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