Tag Archive for P.R.

Christianity’s PR Problem–Part 2: PRaise and PRayer

 

 

 

PRAISE AND PRAYER

 

God must come first, because He is first.  When you put God first in your life, you are not doing Him a favor; you are doing yourself one.  As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:

 

 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33 NIV)

 

So what is the best way to keep God on top of the list?  Well, the obvious answer is to pray.  But how?

 

Too often, our prayers sound like we are making God into our own personal vending machine.  We need or want something, so we push our prayer button and expect that we will receive an immediate answer to our prayers, all wrapped up like a Three Musketeers. 

 

Since we wouldn’t be asking God for something if we didn’t believe he was capable, and willing, to provide it,  why not start our prayer by praising Him for being that kind of a God? 

If we need His help, He is obviously greater than we are.  Starting our prayer time by meditating on just how much greater He is puts us in an appropriate posture for prayer.

 

Of course, once we’re there, standing in the glory of His greatness, we realize how unworthy we are.  This is a good opportunity for confession. 

You can’t help but call to mind where you’ve missed the mark when you have entered the presence of the Most Holy One.  But that’s just it.  Even though we have missed the mark, and will do so again, He still welcomes us into His presence. 

 

Once we begin thanking Him just for paying attention to us at all, we become more aware of all the ways, great and small, that He is acting in our lives.  Thank Him for all of those things, because He didn’t have to do any of them. 

I have found that the joy of the Lord comes to me in the course of my thanksgiving.  As David wrote:

 

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (Psalm 28:7 NIV)

 

It is through this strength that we finally get around to presenting our requests to the Lord.  Because now, instead of feeling confused and helpless and needy, we are renewed and refueled. 

(Next–Part 3–PRotect)

Christianity’s PR Problem–Part 1: PRiorities

 

Many folks today say that Christianity has a P. R. problem. Like it or not, they have a point.

Whether the P. R. problem comes from people outside the church speaking from ignorance, or denominations within the church at each other’s throats over doctrinal issues and such, pretty much anyone disposed to do so can find something about the church with which to take issue. 

Why bother with that drama?

No, dear readers, instead of blathering on about the P. R. problem, I am here instead to propose some PR solutions, though not perhaps in the way you are thinking. 

I believe that the Church’s image problem is best addressed from the top down.  Just as the head directs the body, so the heads of churches set the tone for their congregations. 

Likewise, as the heads of their families, fathers set the tone for their wives and children.   When the leaders of both churches and Christian families have their houses in order, the world can not help but notice.  It is my position that the most effective way to fix the church’s  P. R. problem is by living out these “PR” solutions.

(I am going to be speaking primarily to the men here, seeing as how I am one.  Ladies, especially single moms, feel free to listen in too though, as I expect you’ll find something useful here as well.)

 

PRIORITIES

Guys, your main thing is keeping your main thing the main thing.  Too many of us men have lives that are out of balance.  We have so many responsibilities that sometimes our priorities get confused.

Here is a simple way that I have found to keep my priorities in their proper order.  When you find yourself overwhelmed, overbooked or overcommitted, this is a good way to sort out your to-do list, whether you actually have a list or just keep one in your head. 

I call this the Hierarchy of Service Priority (mostly because I couldn’t think of anything else to call it–please feel free to come up with a better name for it if you like).  It goes like this:

  1.       God
  2.       Spouse
  3.       Kids
  4.       Extended Family
  5.       The World (friends, acquaintances and basically everybody else)
  6.       Yourself

The point of this hierarchy is to keep in mind that if you are spending energy serving someone on this list without having first given priority  everyone else ABOVE that level, that is a good sign that you are out of balance.  For each level of PRiority on the list, I have a PRactical solution to help you remember.

(for more on that, tune in for Part 2–PRaise and PRayer)