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Letter from the Publisher
Praying to the Father
When releasing an arrow from my Mathews Switchback carefully aimed at the vitals of a beautiful trophy whitetail deer, I lifted up to our Creator a simple prayer for a precise hit on my target. The thirty yard shot indeed scored, but did my simple prayer make any difference?
Does prayer work? This cynical questions evokes a broad range of responses, both from Christian believers as well as unbelievers. A more fundamental question is “Why pray?”.
For Jesus, prayer was as necessary as breathing. If the Son of God felt such a great need for contact with the Father, how much more do we! So, why do we need to pray? Certainly God, who knows everything, knows our needs. Why do we need to tell Him what He already knows?
Herein lies one of the most basic misunderstandings about prayer. We think that the purpose of prayer is to give information to God: “Lord, I need this and I need that” … as if the Lord didn’t already know everything that we need. However, the purpose of prayer is to conform us to His will rather than our own. Prayer does not change God, rather prayer changes us. It changes our attitude from complaining to praise. It enables us to participate in God’s eternal plan. It makes us aware of our total inadequacy … and God’s infinite sufficiency! The goal of faith is to bring us into direct, personal fellowship with our Father God.
If we do not move deeper into fellowship with our Creator through prayer, then we retreat from fellowship with Him. Prayer is active, not static! Jesus first teaching on prayer is found in Luke 18:1-8 regarding the unjust judge who finally relented to the women identified as a widow who persistently petitioned him with her request. Jesus told His disciples this parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
18 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘[a]Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will [b]give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will [c]wear me out.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, [d]and will He delay long over them? 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [e]faith on the earth?”
Prayer helps us to grow into the very image of our Father God, who knows our desire to find success even when hunting for a trophy whitetail deer or fulfilling any of our other felt needs. We can rest assured that He has our best interest at heart, but more importantly He desires for us to draw close to Him daily to become Conformed to His Image.
In this edition please read the cover article featuring Dr. Ken Boa who presents to the reader a unique approach to living life to the fullest as highlighted in his center-piece book called, Conformed to His Image. Also, in this edition you will find tips for the new year in becoming Fit for the Hunt by Douglas Gilmer who enumerates some very practical ideas that will definitely make your outdoors experience more enjoyable. Jim Young then relates to us his thoughts on Generations, emphasizing not only the importance of passing the Christian faith down to the next generation but also the cherished traditions of building memories together with family and friends in the great outdoors.
The heart shot to the vitals with my Mathews Switchback certainly accomplished my goal in taking a trophy whitetail on the evening of my fall hunt but more importantly God had impressed upon me the need to always pray and not give up! So should we pray? Perhaps you should make that decision!
Thank you for your faithful support of The Christian Sportsman magazine as a reader and promoter of our publication to your friends and family members. And let’s remember the Lord's directive to pray without ceasing or at least have an attitude and mind-set for asking the Father to teach us to pray!