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Beyond Drive-Thru Christianity

• Scott Boren

Prayer was a way of life for Anna. She prayed with patience and an expectation that God would come through. We, however, live in a fast-food society that tells us to “have it our way” with little investment and immediate gratification. Prayer is not a fast-food, drive-thru experience. Rather, just like a three course meal, it takes time and patience to develop a meaningful relationship with Jesus. There are three basic courses to a good meal with him.

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Prayer was a way of life for Anna. She prayed with patience and an expectation that God would come through. We, however, live in a fast-food society that tells us to “have it our way” with little investment and immediate gratification. Prayer is not a fast-food, drive-thru experience. Rather, just like a three course meal, it takes time and patience to develop a meaningful relationship with Jesus. There are three basic courses to a good meal with him.

The first course is to center your soul before God. God desires authenticity and honesty. God can handle our honest emotions. We are encouraged to tell God what is on our hearts. As we share our feelings, we can then shift our focus to the truth of who God is. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

The second course of this meal with Jesus is to read (ingest) the Word of God (see Ezekiel 3:1-3). As we take in God’s Word and chew on what it says, it begins to transform us from the inside out. Unlike our fast-food culture, the Word of God slowly and carefully shapes us into his image.

Finally, the third course is found in waiting on the Lord (see Isaiah 40:31). Anna was a woman who learned how to pray with the waiting expectation that God would come and redeem his people. She had expectant hope that God would not leave the people of Israel in a state of exile, without his glory. This expectant hope is neither passive nor active. Rather, it shapes us in the waiting. Like Anna, we can be transformed by learning to wait upon the Lord for his timing and his deliverance.

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Topics: Disciplines, Prayer


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Focus Scripture:

  • Isaiah 40:27-31

    Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
    “My way is hidden from the LORD;
    my cause is disregarded by my God"?

    Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.

    He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.

    Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;

    but those who hope in the LORD
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

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