Morning Prayer Summary for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist
Morning Chapel Prayer Today

Pastor Ken…


Father, we worship you and welcome you into this prayer gathering this morning.
Father, we pray for supernatural heart surgeries this morning.
Lord, where there’s hardness and imperviousness to the movement and the touch of God, let there be a softening and a plowing and cultivating by your hand.
Father, in our churches, we pray you would plow straight through the hardened ground that has been made fallow.
Lord, we pray you prepare the ground of our hearts, the ground of our churches, the ground of our nation for the coming of our Lord… and for the early and latter rains.
Holy Spirit, prepare angels to be on mission, to be on assignment to go about the church, go about your assignment to individuals today within the church and leaders today in our very own hearts.
Lord, our prayer is that you would make us new and draw us to a place of surrender and yieldedness and first love fellowship once again in Jesus’ name.


I was reminded this morning of a passage in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10. I am going to read it from the Passion paraphrase. It states, “The Lord answered her, Martha, my beloved Martha, why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions. Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at My feet. She is undistracted and I won’t take this privilege from her.”

There is a secret in an unhurried spirituality…

I was drawn to that scripture this morning because, well frankly, I can be really distracted at times. And we live in a world of distraction and hurriedness. And if there’s one thing I’m beginning to learn is that there is a secret in an unhurried spirituality. If there’s one thing that I’m sensing in my heart is that God is calling the church in this hour to a slowed down spirituality, to pursue a journey with Him in such a way where our hearts and our pace of life and spirituality matches His. Because that’s where the flow is.

It’s vital for us to get in the flow of the rivers of living waters…

Jesus prophesied that out of our belly would flow rivers of living water, right? And so it’s necessary, vital I would say, on a daily basis for us to get in that flow. Heaven isn’t just a place, as I’ve often said. Heaven is a flow. And what is needed most in the church, what is needed most in the place of prayer, what is needed most in culture on the world geopolitical stage is not just a bunch of man’s ideas. What’s needed is heaven’s flow on earth as it is in heaven.

We must sync up with the cadence of God’s Spirit…

But that requires that we embrace the priority of a slowed down spirituality like Martha, who was privileged to sit at the feet of Jesus. And so are we on a daily basis. Because that’s what God created for us to do, and that’s the way He’s established things, is that we would slow down before we go fast, that we would sit at His feet before we speak a word, make a decision, or do a thing… that we would slow down so that we can sync up with the cadence of God’s Spirit rather than the cadence of culture, or the cadence and speed of business.

We can’t fulfill God’s purpose with a hurried soul…

I mean, it’s clear that as the years have gone by just in recent decades, the pace and the speed of culture and things has just increased. It’s accelerated. Yet the ancient ways are not any different. God calls us to a slowed down spirituality. In fact, I wrote this reflection down the other day. “We can’t live in the kingdom of God and experience God’s love and presence, or for that matter, fulfill His purpose with a hurried soul.” You don’t have to be busy and going at Mach 10 in your activity to have a hurried soul. You can be hurried on the inside and maybe in appearances slow on the outside. And so I just want to challenge us this morning to reflect on the pace of how we’re doing life, the pace of our own souls.

True story of British explorer…

I love this story. There’s a true story of an account of a British explorer who years ago wanted to embark on exploring parts of Africa. And so he hired some native Africans to be his porter, to carry and help move things into the interior where he was going to explore. And after a day’s journey, they pitched camp and stayed at a particular place for a night. And when they got up the next day, this British explorer said, “Okay, everybody, let’s get up and get going.” But these Africans said, “No, we’re not going to do that. It’s not time.” And he did everything he could do to get them incentivized, to get up and continue their journey, but they would not. And finally he asked, “Why?” And they said to him, “Because our soul has yet to catch up with our bodies.” I like that.

In other words, I think sometimes, especially in the church, we’re doing things at a faster pace than the Lord plans… that we need to let our souls be refreshed, ministered to by the Spirit. So they can catch up at the pace of how we’re doing life on the outside sometimes.

Quotes from book, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer…

Let me read a couple of things to you from a book entitled, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry,” by John Mark Comer, who writes, “The point I’m driving toward is this. An over-busy hurried life of speed is the new normal in the Western world, and it’s toxic. Psychologists tell us anxiety is often the canary in the coal mine. Our soul’s way of telling us something is deeply wrong, and we need to fix it fast. In a recent study, 39% of Americans reported being more anxious than they were a year ago. That’s something to keep an eye on. It’s an emotional epidemic. As my grandma used to say, “Just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t make it smart or right.”

And as I said before, hurry is the threat not only to our emotional health, but to our spiritual lives as well.

“Thomas Merton once called the rush and pressure of modern life a pervasive form of contemporary violence. Violence is the perfect word. Hurry kills relationships. Love takes time. Hurry doesn’t have it. Hurry kills joy, gratitude, appreciation. People in a rush don’t have time to enter into the goodness of the moment…”

Or I would suggest the goodness of God. When I was driving home last night, I was listening to a story I think I’ve heard before by Heidi Baker and she was talking about how God completely wrecked her in a good way and changed the course of her life when she visited a prophet on a particular day… when she talks about how her husband and this other friend of hers basically kidnapped her and took her to a prophet off somewhere in the sticks, so to speak, in the country. And I won’t go into the details because it’s her story and I can’t do it justice, but one of the things she was reminded of during that experience with that prophet is that you don’t have to strive and struggle and go at Mach 10 in your life to gain God’s favor.

You’ve got His favor. You already have it.

And then she said the other thing that really changed her is she realized there will always be enough for you, for God’s plan. It’s already been prepared and paid for and put in store. Whatever it is that we need, there’s always enough, right? Jesus demonstrated that in the feeding of the 5,000. What did they have? Five loaves and two fishes, something like that? And Jesus blessed it and it multiplied to feed probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 15,000 people. That’s a great reminder that we don’t have to even strive when it comes to what we need, whether it’s in the church collectively or individually. There’s always enough, and you already have His favor. Amen.

So the author goes on to say…

“Hurry kills wisdom. Wisdom is born in the quiet, the slow. Wisdom has its own pace.”

And maybe that’s what the Lord’s reminding me anyway, this morning, is that God has His own pace. The Holy Spirit has His own pace. And we’re not to say, “Lord, come on, keep up.” We’re to say, “Holy Spirit, what’s your pace? What’s your cadence this morning? And how can I align and synchronize with that?” Because that’s where you unlock that abundance I referred to. That’s where you unlock His favor. That’s where life is life giving and gaining instead of draining. That’s where ministry is truly effective. That’s where you become a solution in the midst of a world of problems. That’s where your prayers reach the heart of God and change a situation in a moment. Because we’re synchronized in the flow of God the Holy Spirit.

He goes on to say…

“It makes you wait for it, wait for the inner voice to come to the surface of your tempestuous mind. But hurry kills all that we hold dear: spirituality, health, marriage, family, thoughtful work, creativity, generosity, name your value. Hurry is a sociopathic predator loose in our society.”

And I would add to that, that it’s in the church.

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.”

Ooh, I like that.

“Attention is the beginning of devotion. Worship and joy start with the capacity to turn our mind’s attention toward the God who is always with us in the now. As apprentices of Jesus, this is our main task and the locus of the Devil’s stratum against us. Many have noted that the modern world is a virtual conspiracy against the interior life.”

So this is something—I’m adding my own commentary here—we need to resist as pray-ers, as believers. Our inner life is key and critical to what God wants to do in our lives and through our lives in this world. Again, I quote it often: 1st John 3:1–2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health even as or directly correlated to your soul prospering and doing well,” I’ll say. So maybe the answer isn’t outside. Maybe the answer is inside.

He goes on to say…

“May have noted the modern world is a virtual conspiracy against the interior life. It’s hard not to see a darker force behind all this than simple capitalism. When we uncritically hurry our way through the digital terrain.”

You know—hint, hint—the Internet, social media, right? I heard a statistic the other day that right around the year 2000, the average American adult had an attention span of 12 seconds. Today the average attention span, they’ve measured it at eight seconds. And just to kind of give that a baseline, I don’t know how they know this or measure this, but a goldfish supposedly has an attention span of nine seconds. So most Americans have less of an attention span than goldfish. So, which makes sense because we live in what has been dubbed by economists, an attention economy where everything is set up, even the algorithms of social media to get as much of your attention as possible. So that they can influence you and you buy more stuff and focus on the gods of this world, “lowercase g.”

Set boundaries and give your phone a timeout…

So I just draw your attention to that this morning to let something rise up in you. I talk to my kids often about this. I try not to preach to them, but I drop little thought bombs and hopefully things to reflect on and critically think about. I mean, that’s one of the things that has also been stolen, I think, from a generation is our ability to critically think as God has given us the ability to think… influenced by His Word, of course, and His Spirit. But we’re just comfortably numb, following along with whatever we’re captivated by in the moment. And we as the church, as believers, as pray-ers have to resist that. And make choices to turn away and to limit and put… as one of my favorite ministers of mine says, “Give your phone a timeout regularly.” Put boundaries on it. Boundaries are not bad. They’re good. They keep the wrong things out and the right things in your life.

And so let me finish this up. He says…

“We make the Devil’s job really easy. Regardless of our income level, attention is our scarcest resource.”

Of course, I’ve always said what you focus on, you move toward. And if you boil faith down, faith really is all about what you focus on—what your heart’s focused on, what your eyes’ are focused on, what your ears are focused on. “Jesus wisely said our hearts will follow behind our treasures. Usually we interpret treasure to mean two basic resources: time and money. But an even more precious resource is attention. Without it, our spiritual lives are still born in the womb. Because attention leads to awareness. All the contemplatives agree. The mystics point out that what’s missing is awareness. Meaning, in the chronic problem of human beings felt experience of distance from God, God isn’t usually the culprit. God is omnipresent. There’s no place God is not. And no time, He isn’t present either. Our awareness of God is the problem because we’re distracted. And it’s acute.”

I challenge you to be aware of God’s presence…

And so I challenge you this morning to draw a deep breath and exhale and be aware of God’s presence. Be aware that released on the inside of each of us is a river and a flow, a favor, a fullness of abundance of prayer. We don’t have to work up prayer. God just invites us to enter into some waters—ankle deep, waist deep, waters to swim in, and just go with Him.


And so, Father, we just let this be our reflection this morning. We pray that you, Holy Spirit, would help us reset if we have been caught up in striving and struggling in our intellect, in our soul. If we find ourselves weighted or burdened by many things like Martha was, Lord, we just cast the care of life, of the future, of the unknown, of the situation that we’re dealing, with the diagnosis we received, of the challenge with maybe a loved one we’re facing. Father, we release that to you this morning by a prayer of consecration and commitment. We say, Lord, you can have that because that’s not what you created us to do, to carry those burdens. But you created us to set our attention and our focus on you. And so, Lord, we humbly do that this morning. We repent, Father, where we have lived constantly in motion in our souls, distracted and caught up and wound up in so many things that you have not called us to do or to carry or to focus on. We submit those things to you, and we receive your blood and your forgiveness today.

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