We lived on the outskirts of Indianapolis, Indiana, in an area called Southport, when I was between the ages of 7 and 10. Our house was in a newly developing, formerly rural, area. One of my young friends, Greg, lived on a farm just a few miles away. They had a well on that farm with an old-fashioned hand-pump in the yard to supply water. The first thing Greg’s dad pointed out to me when I wanted to see how the pump worked was the bucket of water next to the pump.

“See that, Doug?” Mr. Banner asked. “That is the priming water. You have to pour that into the pump in order to create the condition for the pump to work. So the first thing to do when the water comes from the pump is to re-fill that bucket. You’ve always got to have priming water.”

A well pump sucks water out of the well and lifts it to ground level. Priming means making the water pump fittings air-free so they create suction to draw the water to the surface. I see a sermon here! Our spirits draw on the Living Water of God’s grace in Jesus Christ (see John 7:37) the Holy Spirit. But we often need to “prime the pump” with devotional resources and practical aids to experience God’s presence and power in daily life.

Spiritual vitality is not automatic. For a number of reasons, most of us do not turn our thoughts to God first thing every morning and throughout the day. Prayer is often our last resort, not our first response.

But that can change! This September we will begin what we’re calling “The Fall Call to Prayer.” I am excited to introduce you to a resource called the “40 Day Prayer Covenant.” This resource is generating renewal in congregations around the country. I am so thankful for the vital prayer life at Trinity, and I am eager to see that broaden and deepen. We will learn how to keep the pump primed daily.

But let’s not wait until September. You can start learning to prime the pump of your spiritual, devotional life now. The most important way is daily Bible reading, first thing (or early) in the day. Billy Graham suggested reading 5 Psalms and 1 chapter of Proverbs every day. Or you can read a chapter of the gospels. Or you can use the Daily Walk Bible as a guide.

A second resource is a devotional guide that reflects on Scripture. Classic devotionals are Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest,” and Mrs. Charles Cowman, “Streams in the Desert.” There are countless other “one year” products and monthly devotional like “Daily Bread,” and “The Upper Room,” and “Scripture Union.” I hope you will research some of these to see what primes your soul’s pump to connect with God daily and moment by moment.

See you in church.