Some advice stands
the test of time. It's not always eloquent or elegant
but the truth just needs to be plain, such as when a
youth pastor gave his young charges the following words
of wisdom: " Stay on your knees and keep your
If we could simply practice prayer and purity,
it would turn our lives upsidedown -- for the
good! Our failing in either or both of these
areas undermines us substantially.
We're usually great on discussion
but light on accountability. We'll talk endlessly
about prayer but rarely pray. Richard Foster gently
reminds us, "It is good to debate the mysteries of
prayer, to ponder the profundities of prayer, to learn
the methods of prayer. It is better to pray."
Too often, we give priority to our
feet over our knees. We rise and race long before we
have humbled ourselves and heard God. Prayer becomes
perfunctory-a ritual to check off-rather than powerful.
We place great confidence in our own abilities to change
the world, to develop property, to attract crowds, to
raise money. Yet, the prayerless life betrays a
Christless life; not that He ever abandons us but that
we relegate him to observer status.
Stay on your knees.
If our prayerlessness erodes our
spiritual formation, today's hyper-sexualization
destroys our moral formation. And the two experiences
can render us virtually impotent for the purposes
The exhortation to "keep your pants
zipped" has wide application-to those who would brazenly
seek real sexual partners outside the boundaries of
marriage, but also to those who would solicit virtual
sexual partners through pornography, explicit videos, or
strip clubs. Some homes get leveled by wrecking balls,
but far more homes are destroyed by termites.
The path of purity is deeply
obscured by our cultural mores. Inappropriate clothing,
highly suggestive emailing and text-messaging, blaring
billboards and crude humor make the pursuit of purity
seem, well, puritanical. Yet our failure to heed this
youth pastor's time-worn wisdom is reaping the whirlwind
not only within our own souls but also within
the kingdom of God.
Keep your pants zipped.
Our prayerlessness deafens our
sensitivity to the Spirit of God while our immorality
deadens our hearts to a holy God. I cannot think of two
more sinister and pervasive afflictions among us. We
face our greatest danger not from forces beyond us but
from the primal-and unsanctified-forces deep within
Those of us who desire the deeper
things of God, who yearn for abundant life, who long for
wholeness, who hunger for healing and thirst for joy,
would do well to start with this simplest of
admonitions: Stay on your knees and keep your pants
we grow in prayer and purity this week.