Prayer is Key.
I spent the month of September preaching and teaching on the subject of prayer. It has been deeply impressed upon my heart the importance of prayer, and I’m convinced that no true success in ministry is had without fervent prayer undergirding it. I don’t hear prayer emphasized so much today, but when I read of the great movements of God in days gone by, and of the people involved in those movements, prayer is spoken about often, being emphasized above many other things. I’ve been working through a volume of books on prayer by an author named E.M. Bounds. In one part of the book, it is bemoaned that the church lacks such power that it must relegate to events and activities to gather people in:
Why is it that in the last decade of this nineteenth century the Church of Jesus Christ exhibits such deplorable weakness that our daily papers are crowded with advertisements of what is to be done and carried on in our churches week after week to draw the people in? Have we forgotten that there is a Holy Ghost, that we must insist upon walking upon crutches when we might fly?
The author sites lack of prayer for this unfortunate condition that the church was in during his time. And I regret to conclude that the modern church is in just as bad shape, if not worse. But why is this? Why doesn’t the church get to prayer and seek God for Him to move mightily in our midst? The simple reason is because it is not easy, especially for people like us that live such comfortable lives. Prayer is hard work and many of us just aren’t willing to put the time to it that is necessary. Another author comments on this as well:
Prayer is not an easy exercise. It requires encouragement, exposition, and training… Prayer is the mightiest instrument in our armory, and if we are to use it as God has given the encouragement, we must do everything in our power to bring it into exercise.Rev. James Hastings.
Paul the apostle also commented on the hard work that prayer is when he spoke of his friend Epaphras, who ‘labored fervently’ in prayer for the saints in Colossae. (See Colossians 4:12)
Prayer is work, there’s no doubt about it. If we think that we can spend just a few moments in prayer a day and see a mighty move of God, we are greatly mistaken. I fear that the modern church doesn’t have the appetite for this kind of work in prayer, especially the younger generations. Perhaps we can inspire them to it. Will you join me in giving yourself to prayer? It’s the only hope for this next generation.
One of the first things that I did when I became pastor at Connect Church was to organize a weekly prayer meeting. It isn’t well attended, but I’m thankful for the few who show up every week to pour our their hearts to God. I know that it makes a big difference. However, if the church could make participating in prayer meetings a first priority, I wonder how much more effective we could be. Perhaps our neighborhoods could be dramatically changed. Perhaps we could alter the course of history! Prayer moves God, and nothing is impossible with Him.
Pray for us
As you are thinking about us, please pray for these specific needs: 1- We really need a new roof on one of our church buildings. We are working on getting a quote here soon. Please pray that we will have what we need for this roof. If we wait much longer we could have damage to the building. 2- Pray for healing for my family. Almost all of us have been battling sickness over the last few weeks. 3- Pray that the Lord would provide us with the housing that we need. We’ve been very blessed to be able to stay on Katrina’s parent’s property, but it is tight and the kids aren’t getting smaller!
Thank you for your support and prayers! It really means a lot! Blessings to you and your families!