Sedentary habits have tendency to create despondency. . . . To sit long in one posture, poring over a book, or driving a quill, is in itself a taxing of nature; but add to this a badly ventilated chamber, a body which has long been without muscular exercise, and a heart burdened with many cares, and we have all the elements for preparing a seething cauldron of despair, especially in the months of fog. . . .
I’m on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I experience a continual sense of need. Nothing’s quite right.
I’m always restless. I’m easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It’s a jungle — I feel overwhelmed. It’s a desert — I’m thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can’t fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
From Jared Wilson.
D.A. Carson writes:
People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.
1. Sleep is a daily gift from God (Psalm 127:1–2).
2. Sleep reminds us daily of our need for God (Psalms 3:5, 4:8).
3. Excessive sleep exposes sin and leads to poverty (Proverbs 6:9–11, 20:13).
4. Sleep is sweet when we are walking in wisdom (Proverbs 3:19–24).
5. Falling asleep provides an opportunity to examine our hearts before God (Psalm 4:4).
By Tony Reinke
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.
Did you wake up not feeling like reading your Bible and praying? How many times today have you had to battle not feeling like doing things you know would be good for you? While it’s true that this is our indwelling sin that we must repent of and fight against, there’s more going on.
Think about this strange pattern that occurs over and over in just about every area of life:
* Good food requires discipline to prepare and eat while junk food tends to be the most tasty, addictive, and convenient.
* Keeping the body healthy and strong requires frequent deliberate discomfort while it only takes constant comfort to go to pot.
* You have to make yourself pick up that nourishing theological book while watching a movie can feel so inviting.
* You frequently have to force yourself to get to devotions and prayer while sleeping, reading the sports, and checking Facebook seems effortless.
* To play beautiful music requires thousands of hours of tedious practice.
* To excel in sports requires monotonous drills ad nauseum.
A farmer once had a horse run away. His neighbors were quite sympathetic saying, "How awful for you."
He replied, "We'll see."
His son went to find the horse and came back triumphantly riding the somewhat agitated steed. The neighbors joyfully exclaimed, "What joy; your horse has been found!"
The farmer calmly said, We'll see."
Here's some interesting thoughts from a pastor who wants to see more people at his prayer meeting. We could apply much of this to our own Wednesday night meeting. Coram Deo is the name of the church by the way.
Perplexed about prayer
Since the launch of Coram Deo, we’ve gathered every Wednesday night for an hour of communal prayer. And when I say “we,” I mean a dozen or two faithful people. The faces change from time to time, but rarely are there more than 15 people in the room.