And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. -Luke 18:1
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
So I've been thinking a lot about prayer.
Over the last several months actually. The question occurs to me, as it does to us all, how do I better serve my Lord?
No great altruistic impulse going on here. Just basic stuff of the Christian life. I have been redeemed, only God knows why, so how may I express my gratitude? As always He loved first and all I can do is respond.
Prayer. It is so simple and so obvious. Can it be that we have overlooked this most essential of Christian duties? I honestly wish I could say that it is just me, but the evidence around me seems to show otherwise.
Could this nation have fallen into the sad state in which she finds herself if we Christians were a people of prayer? Could the Church be a drooping, declining witness to the Gospel?
I am reading a book called, Principles of War. In it, the author Jim Wilson outlines ten historic principles of warfare and relates them to our evangelical task.
He likens prayer to artillery preparation before the assault on the battlefield and calls for the concentrated use of prayer by the Church.
At the recent Reformation Conference at GPC, Reverend John Sartelle, using Revelation 8:5 for his text, likened the prayers of the saints to nitroglycerin in the hands of God.
Charles Spurgeon spoke of the prayer room in the basement of Metropolitan Tabernacle in London as "the engine room of the church." There, every Sunday as Spurgeon preached, members of the church gathered and offered up prayers for God's blessing of the sermon.
Yet this man of God, this "Prince of Preachers" called for more when he mentioned the likelihood that the Church was "putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand."
"Let us agonize in prayer," was his plea. This plea is valid for God's people in all ages. Would you agree that we can never pray enough as long as the fields are white with the harvest, as long as our King tarries in His coming?
We have a prayer group at GPC at 8:45 on Sunday mornings. There is a dedicated group which turns out faithfully each Sunday to lift up friends, family, our community, our nation, our little congregation and the Church militant. Praise God for them .
How about your church? Is there a group dedicated to prayer and if not, could you be instrumental in starting one? In Thessalonians 5:11, Paul urges us to "encourage one another and build one another up." How better to do this than through prayer, both individually and together?
What a blessing it would be to see the whole congregation arrive early one Sunday to pray. If the prayers of a few can bring visual results, what would the prayers of many do?
Ah, brothers and sisters, let us "carpet bomb" Satan all the way to the gates of hell.
Come and pray.