A Divided Life vs. A Life of Prayer

A Divided Life vs. A Life of Prayer

Prayer is a great unifier: it pulls together seemingly disparate parts of the believer’s life. While we have a tendency to divide our life into the “Christian” parts and the “other” parts, the Bible recognizes no such distinction. A.W. Tozer called this the “sacred/secular antithesis.” I think we might better call it the “sacred/secular fallacy”.

This kind of thinking creates an internal division between our ‘earthy’ life and our ‘spiritual’ life. It makes us what James calls “doubleminded,” and a doubleminded person is “unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

The truth is, once we’ve come to know Jesus, these are one and the same. We are “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), we’re to walk in the “newness of life” in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:4), and we’re to do all that we do – even eating and drinking – to the glory of God.

After we’ve experienced the new birth in Christ, everything we do should be with an eye toward glorifying our Heavenly Father and becoming more like Jesus. Conversely, nothing that we do should fail to acknowledge God’s glory.

I can eat my toast and drink my morning coffee to the glory of God – He, after all, is the one who provided these “good gifts” for me (James 1:17). “So,” Paul writes, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

I serve my employer – or, if I’m an employer, I serve my employees – just as though I were serving Christ. I “work heartily, as for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).

There simply is no distinction between the ‘mundane’ and the ‘holy’ in the life of the believer. ALL that we do is sacred, set apart for God’s honor. We live by faith. We order our steps by faith. We make decisions about everything from what we’ll do to what we’ll buy to where we’ll go by faith – and that means by prayer.

We’re to pray “in everything” (Philippians 4:6). We’re to pray “at all times” (Ephesians 6:18) and for all kinds of people (1 Timothy 2:1-2). And we’re to do so “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Why? Because “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18b).

Prayer brings every disparate element of our lives together into one unified whole that praises the only true and living God. In this way we remain fixed on the goal of ‘glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.’

His we are, and His we shall be – world without end. So let’s live like who we truly are: children of the King!

Soli Deo gloria!

 

To consider …

  • What areas of your life have you, perhaps unintentionally, divided into sacred and secular? How has this led to a sense of spiritual instability?
  • What do you think of Paul’s admonishment that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” means? What does it mean to you specifically? What does it mean to you practically?
  • What can you do to close the gap between the sacred and the secular in your life?
  • What do you think of prayer as a great unifier? I suggest that it pulls together seemingly disparate parts of the believer’s life into a unified whole. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  • James 1:8 says that a “doubleminded” person is “unstable in all his ways.” Have you experienced this? In what way?
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Comments

  1. What an amazing reminder—there have been times when I was blessed with godly bosses and times when I worked for individuals that, well, weren’t. It was in those times (the latter) where I really had the sense that I was working for the Lord, and that I reported to Him each day. I think it is our natural tendency to look at the ordinary facets of life as just that—cleaning, driving, exercising, eating, drinking—ordinary. What place does God really have in my lunch? Before you know it, God’s slice of our lives is a pretty skinny part of the pie! I read a good book a number of years ago by Nancy Pearcy called Total Truth where she begins by examining the history of thought and how the separation of the secular and the sacred was designed to relegate religion to the mystical and the study of science and the concrete to the secular—she called it the upstairs downstairs way of thinking. Translation, religion was superstitious hogwash and science and reason were for sensible folks. Before this developed, then, the thought was that our coming and goings, our health, our work—was all upstairs—sacred. The adoption of this thinking was the canonization of the double minded man. Not so! If I am doing ALL things as unto Him, my spreadsheets are God’s work! My time stewarding my body when I eat nutritious food and exercise—that’s His too! I don’t need to sign off from prayer and sign onto work—there is no, thanks for the infilling this morning I’ll take it from here…there is the sense that as I leave the parking lot and cross the green to my office that Jesus is walking right beside me. Like any other facet of the faith, we need constant reminding and renewing. The desire to slip back into our own strength and take the reins is powerful. But it is at cross purposes with God’s call to lay down our self sufficiency and be completely dependent on Him. My prayer is that when I am tempted to complain about my workload or groan as I get onto the exercise bike, that I remember God has commissioned these things and that when I devote them to Him, He is pleased.

  2. I PRAY EVER DAY IT HELPS ME I TALK TO GOD I AM HAPPY THAT I HAVE HIM IN MY LIFE

  3. I PRAY TO GOD WHEN I HAVE PANIC ATTACKS THEN THEY STOP I TALK TO GOD HE HELPS ME WHEN I TALK TO HIM I AM THANK FULL FOR HAVING HIM IN MY LIFE I LOVE HIM

  4. I PRAY EVERY DAY TO GOD HE KNOWS I LOVE HIM

  5. I think is is so dangerous to my identity when I compartmentalize any piece of my day. It leads to rogue thoughts(weeds) taking root which separate me from the truth that Christ died for ALL of me. He shed His blood to redeem all the minutes of my life here on earth as well as providing me with a future with Him in heaven. When I offer my body as a living sacrifice to His honor in the morning time of prayer and contemplation, I bask in the glory that is His and receive His equipping for the assignments of my day. Prayer places me in a right position of surrender so I can be a conduit of His grace all day. Submission to Him is essential to fulfilling the holy commissioning He’s chosen for me.

  6. “Teach me Your way, Yahweh, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name.” Psalm 86:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

  7. I remember a lesson that I was taught that gave me a plan to live by. When I start my day with Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, & last but not least Supplication, it is then that the day is truly blessed and He is in control of my life. When something prevents this from taking place, I still have the peace of knowing that He will still walk with me and talk with me because He knows I am His own. When our hearts desire to serve Him, He guides us through as we lift our thoughts and concerns to HIM. Prayer can never leave us empty when our hearts are totally surrendered to HIM & HIS will. Thank you Jesus for your undying love for us. Thank you Father for Pastor Gene and the love he has for you & your people.

  8. David Medeiros : February 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Once Christ enters a person’s life, everything changes. Unfortunately, many Christians do separate their private lives from their spiritual lives. But that is in direct conflict with what is written in the Word. Any believer serious about being a disciple knows that it involves sacrifice. Jesus, in Luke 14:25-35 challenged the disciples to count the cost, using two examples of a builder and a king. I believe the main ingredient in both cases and for us to consider is prayer. Prayer as we read in Luke 18:1-8, in Jesus’s parable of the persistent widow. Romans 12:12 coincides with the previous text, ” Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

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