Get Prayer and Get It All

It's hot off the press!

It’s hot off the press!

My UPS man delivered hot-off-the-press copies of my brand-new book, Get Prayer and Get It All. Then he bought the first copy out of the box. What a fun moment!

It’s hard to believe Get Prayer and Get It All finally is in print. I can’t say “Thank you!” enough to everyone past and present who helped spark the dream and who helped make it a reality.

You can request a free .pdf copy by dropping me a quick note at rickdpadgett@gmail.com.

You also can buy a “real” copy at https://www.createspace.com/4468779.

Enjoy!

The Power of Repetition

The Oregon Ducks motto: "Win the Day"

The Oregon Ducks motto: “Win the Day”

Mandates are to be repeated and repeated often. The language of repetition is important. You can observe how often people repeat their message. Just watch a football game and you’ll see the same commercial ten times. Advertisers know is takes five or six times to break through your defenses. I listen to our local sports talk radio and there’s Chip Kelly, his coaching staff, and every Oregon Duck player repeating their daily mandate, “Win the Day.”

God too is zealous for His mandate. His epilogue to the Law in Deuteronomy 6 sets a pattern for how to repeat the mandate every day and to repeat it in every way. This is where Jesus turns in summing up the most important priority of the heart—the mandate to obey the first commandment: Love God first.

God knows there’s a lot of static competing for your space and you have to keep actively contending for your mandate.

  • Mandate is the guiding priority that helps us sort out life.
  • Mandate makes sure the lesser things get done. If you do the one big thing, all the other stuff falls in place (think Ford’s motto, “Quality is job one”).

So, do you know what your mandate is? If you have to think about it, even for a second, you haven’t repeated it enough yet. That’s okay. Just do whatever it takes to repeat it a lot in coming days!

 

The Apostolic Prayer We Dare Not Forget

Map showing the ancient city of Ephesus

Map showing the ancient city of Ephesus

You and I have a dual mandate: to be lovers of God, and lovers of people.

It’s an incredible, all-encompassing mandate. It speaks to every sphere of life, and every relationship we have.

Several years ago, as I began to ask Jesus to source my obedience to this dual mandate, I began to pray an apostolic prayer. We find that prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21.

I have probably prayed this apostolic prayer 200 or 300 times. I have memorized it. I encourage you to memorize it if you’re serious because this is one of the source documents that points right at the resourcing of your life from the inside out.

This apostolic prayer couldn’t be any more explicit and it’s absolutely beautiful. Paul talks about the Gospel and lays it out to the Ephesians church. This is the same church we read about in the book of Revelation, which (sadly) had forgotten this prayer after a while.

Here is that powerful, essential, ongoing apostolic prayer: 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

If you’re struggling with God’s dual mandate for your life, I strongly encourage you to memorize this prayer. Keep praying this prayer. Paul is saying, I’m releasing the riches of God’s glorious resource into your life, to strengthen you with power in the inner man that Christ would dwell in your heart, that there would be this invasion in you to resource the experience of the love of God, and out of that love you’re going to be filled again, and when you’re filled again what’s going to happen? You can experience the resourcing that gives you the ability to fulfill the mandate.

We’re just like my 8-year-old friend Henry—most of us, anyway. Like him, I want to get the most heart function I can get. I don’t want to come to the end of life with the mandate unfulfilled in my life and experience. Instead, I want to go right into the next life without missing a beat because guess what everyone is doing in heaven? That’s right: loving God, and loving people.

Here is my prayer for you right now:

Father, we thank you. Thank you for your Son who is the healer of hearts. Thank you for your Son who is the resource for all of our obedience, the one who knows the way when we think there is no way. The one who knows how to cure, how to heal, how to do what no one else can do. He is the answer, He is the resource, and He is the prize. His name is Jesus. Amen.

 

Abraham Lincoln’s Example: Two sources

Still from the critically acclaimed movie, Lincoln (2012)

Still from the critically acclaimed movie, Lincoln (2012)

One of America’s greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, always has fascinated me. For a long time, however, I wasn’t entirely sure why.

Now, what stands out the most is Lincoln’s two-part mandate. One, preserve the nation, and the other, end slavery. Everything he thought, said and did had its source in those two mandates.

So, where did Abraham Lincoln get his two-part mandate?

First, Lincolon was a lawyer so the he reached into some source material and he pulled out what he needed in order to build his case. He had this very distinct process of reaching into some source material, the legal documents and the Constitutional documents of the nation, and he pulled out pieces of it and he built this actual structure in his thinking of legal justification for his behavior as far as he could go.

But guess what? Abe ran out of documents and at some places the documents were incomplete, and so what did he have to do?

There was something inside of Lincoln that he relied on as that final source of information. When he needed to make a very difficult decision and the source documents that he used in his legal side of his brain ran out, he was able to go inside and find something else in his heart that helped guide his decision-making process.

As I watched the movie Lincoln (2012), I cheered in my spirit because I was so enthralled with how human he was, how he processed being a human being. I was so impressed as I watched him process the tremendous challenges before him, and then know for certain what he was supposed to accomplish.

In our own lives, we may or may not have a good grasp on our source material, God’s Word, the Bible. Oh, we may know it intellectually, but we may not have processed it fully, owned it, and made it our own.

Then again, we may or may not take enough time in prayer and quietness to hear what our own heart has to say based on the covenants, commitments, and promises we have made.

Like Lincoln, we need both sources to meet the challenges before us in this life.

To Ponder and Discuss: Self-discovery: your inner mandate

1. Is this idea of having a driving life mandate new to you? Is it a new thought that intrigues or challenges you and how? It’s okay if you haven’t thought about it in those terms before.

2. How would you describe your mandate, if any, or how would you like to begin thinking about a new one?

3. How has your desire to define, establish and live out an inner mandate emerged from your introduction to Lincoln’s example? Name one example of how that inner mandate could transform your decision making process in the mundane—and sometimes very difficult—realities of everyday life, family, marriage?

4.  At some point, for every moral decision, you have to go beyond external, written source documents and dig into the well of your emotional resources—your covenants, commitments or promises. What or who are the sources of your inner reserve?