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Present and Praying
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By Randy Maxwell
 
Jeremy Bentham died on June 6, 1832. The utilitarian philosopher became a famous thinker in economics and law and founded the University College of London.
 
Bentham instructed that, upon his death, he was to be embalmed and seated in a wooden box with large windows so he could be easily seen. When he died at the age of 85, he was embalmed as he had instructed. This type of embalmed person is called an "auto-icon." 
 
At times Betham's auto-icon would be wheeled into various board meetings of the university he founded. Someone would always begin the meetings with the strange but accurate statement, "Jeremy Bentham, present, but not voting."
 
One wonders how many "auto-icons" fill the pews of our churches — Christians who look alive but have died spiritually for lack of an intimate relationship with Jesus. They are "present, but not praying" — present in body but not engaged in spiritual life. Don't follow Jeremy Bentham's example.
 
In this new year of 2015, I challenge you to engage in your walk with God with new passion, purpose and prayer. Pray not just for yourself and your trials, but pray for a revival of true godliness in the church and in the world.
 
Join the Pray One Million movement — covenanting to pray one minute a day for one person God wants you to influence for Christ.
 
And pray for God to bring all of us "auto-icons" to life through His Spirit, so that we are present to serve and prepared for His coming.
 
Randy Maxwell is pastor of the Kuna church and prayer coordinator for the Idaho Conference
Reprinted from North Pacific Union Conference Gleaner, January 2015