Spiritually Bankrupt?


Be spiritually fit! Practice the strength-producing spiritual discipline of daily prayer.

Last Thursday evening my three sisters and sister-in-love made a spontaneous decision to have a movie night. It was a knee jerk reaction to getting together one final time before one sister headed back to California, and another would soon return to Michigan. “Come on over,” I said. “I’ll make the popcorn.” At one o’clock in the morning we said our good-byes and when the alarm rang four and half hours later, I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Ugh.

How quickly we feel the effects of fatigue, frailty, aches and pains, and other weaknesses. Whether it’s lack of sleep or a bout with the flu, we know what it is to be physically bankrupt.

Maybe you join me in also knowing how it feels to be spiritually bankrupt. Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline – The Path to Spiritual Growth, confessed that he went through a spiritually bankrupt time three months after he was fresh out of seminary and serving his first appointment in a small congregation. He writes, “I had nothing left to give. I had no substance, no depth. The people were starving for a word from God, and I had nothing to give them. Nothing.” Foster then details within this book the spiritual disciplines that nurtured his journey of prayer and spiritual growth.

Like healthy food, exercise, and sleep to our physical bodies, is talking and listening to God for our spiritual bodies! But what if you feel too spiritually bankrupt to even know how or what to pray?

God’s Spirit helps us in our weakness. God’s Spirit has you covered! The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26).

God’s Son identifies with our weaknesses. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

God the Father is strength and gives strength. 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). The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).

Prayer Step: Be spiritually fit! Practice the strength-producing spiritual discipline of daily prayer.

Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father. -Richard J. Foster

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