Especially at Christmas, some may lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday and be consumed with buying, getting, making and storing.
But New York City's Times Square Church pastor and author Carter Conlon says only when we lose our life will we gain it.
Conlon is the author of the new book, It's Time to Pray, which focuses on what Christians can do to bring healing, revival and true life change through fervent and sincere prayers to God.
"At Christmas, we see so much abundance—celebrations, food, gifts, bright parties, decorations, merriment, singing and event opulent church services," Conlon says. "But what's keeping us from living a truly abundant life? Once the Christmas tree is taken down and the twinkle lights go out, some of us will be reminded of our emptiness and lack of fulfillment. We can't live the Christian life by our own mechanisms or power. When 'self' propels our Christian walk, we fail. Let's take ourselves off the throne and place Jesus there instead—not only at Christmas but every day of the year. Because it's not about what we can do—it's about what God has already done."
This month, readers can follow along with the concepts of It's Time to Pray through a seven-day YouVersion devotional called "Praying for the Impossible."
One day of the devotional focuses on believing in a "big God."
"The Christian life is not lived in the natural, yet that's exactly what so many believers are trying to do," Conlon writes. "We have moved away from the supernatural walk of the Holy Spirit and have relied on ingenuity, programs and professional skills to try to accomplish God's work. We have moved from the compassion of God that was exhibited on the cross to an inward focus.
"God has given us the power of His Word and His Holy Spirit to live our Christian walk and accomplish His will," he continues. "Where God says He is able to take you, what He says He is able to do, wherever He has determined to lead you is entirely possible as long as God Himself is the author and finisher of it. Your part is prayer and faith."
Times Square Church in Manhattan is an interdenominational congregation with more than 10,000 people in attendance who represent over 100 different nationalities. Conlon continues to be a voice for God far beyond the pulpit of Times Square Church by speaking at numerous conferences across the country and around the world.
Conlon's weekly radio spots air on 1010 WINS, the nation's longest-running all-news station, and his one-minute devotionals, "It's Time to Pray," and 30-minute program, "A Call to the Nation," are currently syndicated on over 350 Christian radio stations worldwide. He is the author of several books, including The 180- Degree Christian, Fear Not and Unshakable.
For more information on It's Time to Pray, released by GPC Books, an imprint of Times Square Church's partnership with Charisma House, visit ItsTimeToPrayBook.com.
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