Air Conditioned Churches or Perseverance of the Saints?

“The number one reason why prayer malfunctions in the hands of believers is that they try to turn a wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic intercom. …what have millions of Christians done? They have stopped believing that we are in a war. No urgency, no watching, no vigilance, no strategic planning. Just easy peacetime and prosperity. And what did they do with the walkie-talkie? They tried to rig it up as an intercom in their cushy houses and cabins and boats and cars – not to call in fire power for conflict with a mortal enemy, but to ask the maid to bring another pillow to the den.”

After attending class today and listening to students give urgent prayer requests before the lecture, I realized how accurate John Piper’s illustration is. Two students offered requests, and I hope the obvious differences in them will awaken you as it did me. One (an American) asked that we pray for their church to have air conditioning so that they would not have to sit in the heat this Sunday. Another (a Korean) asked that we pray for the faith of the twenty-one remaining Korean missionaries kidnapped by the Taliban just recently. As the class prayed, I sat at my desk humbled, in tears, and in need of change, because my own prayer life looked more like the former instead of the latter.

We are at war. Our brothers and sisters need prayer, not for air conditioning, but for perseverance in the midst of persecution.


8 Responses to “Air Conditioned Churches or Perseverance of the Saints?”

  1. Billy Marsh Says:

    These type of prayer requests happen all too often. America has most definitely raised a whole generation of shelterd citizens, not to mention the American Church raising sheltered Christians. It should impact us even more that this dynamic is alive and well at Seminary of all places. The training ground for future ministers and missionaries. P.S. You misspelled “Taliban”.

  2. Ched Says:


    These are convicting words. This mentality creeps into my life so easily.

  3. Bret & Rachel Says:

    Thanks for the comments, brothers. I pray that all of our prayer lives would continue to grow. Billy, I spelled Taleban the way BBC News spelled it.

  4. Weekly SWBTS Blogetin Board « Straight out of the SWBTS Blogosphere Says:

    […] Bret Rogers asks what should motivate our prayer life: Air Conditioning or Perseverance of the Saints? […]

  5. Brandon Says:

    Yeah, this is a good thing to think about. There’s a line from a hymn that our church wrote on their new CD that says “comfort sings a siren tune”. It’s totally true. We are drawn in by comfort, and then we mistake it for a need.

    Also, on the comical side, I’d like to point out that as Billy corrected “Taliban”, he also misspelled “sheltered” (shelterd) in his first usage of the word. I thought that was great.

  6. Billy Marsh Says:

    How embarrasing. I will no longer correct spelling and keep my dignity.

  7. Brandon Says:

    …also, I thought I’d add (for Billy’s sake)…that Bret misspelled privelege one time (privaledge) then I corrected him with “priveledge”, neither of which are correct. Then our mom commented and corrected us both – just laid the smack down. So, by all means Mr. Marsh, your dignity has always been intact. Ours, however, remains shattered by our genius mom.

  8. abidingbranches Says:

    My pastor recently made a poke at Wednesday night “prayer meetings” calling them “Organ recitals.” We prayer for this person to feel better, and that person to get out of the hospital, and heeling (physically) for this person. He challenged the congregations, as does Piper, to interceed for people’s faith. Thanks for the challenge, Bret, I often fall into the air conditioning too much. –Brown

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