Rogation Days Are Over But Don't Stop Praying

Thank you for praying and fasting these past three Rogation Days! And thank you for those who’ve given generously, sacrificially, over and above to the Lord at St. Bartholomew’s! I’m so grateful for God’s provision through you. We’re moving in the right direction! Keep praying!

Yesterday morning at our Rogation Day service we celebrated, prayed, and interceded for God’s provision as representatives of the whole at St. Bart's. We sang God’s praises, confessed our sin, read the Scriptures, and processed through the Church praying the Great Litany all while incense, a symbol of our prayers rising before God, burned on the altar. It was a beautiful time, one that we begged God to move in.

We heard from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Mt 6:5–6)

Dallas Willard says of the hypocrite’s prayer, so focused as it is on appearance and the praise of man, that “the entire operation lay within the range of human competence” (Divine Conspiracy, 193). In other words, hypocrites pray publicly to be seen publicly. And they are seen, and they look devout, publicly. That is their reward. God is not present, and everything that is done, is done by man. Willard continues, “Because they had not involved God in what they were doing, he does not intrude on their project.”

Jesus’ and Willard’s words are medicine for us, because if our Rogation Days have been anything, they have been a cry to Almighty God to intrude very much on our project, to break in and do something only he can do. In the same way that God provided for the people of Israel in their desert wandering, we will see him provide for us, always having food to eat and clothes to wear. Jesus said as much on Rogation Tuesday (see Matthew 6:24-34).

This Sunday we’ll celebrate the Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:9-11), but we’ll also begin a series on our Vision and Values that will run through June. This is an exciting moment in our life of being St. Bart’s. God is at work, and I pray he continues to intrude and have his way in each of our lives and the life of his Church for the sake of East Dallas and the world.