Praising God For The Privilege (& Priority) of Prayer!
2020—A New Year … Replacing our 2019 calendars and restarting another 12—month cycle. In many ways, things stay the same because life continues without much noticeable impact. But, in our minds, there might be something fresh and invigorating about exchanging one another’s well wishes in the greeting: Happy New Year! This article isn’t addressing anything revolutionary or radical, but I’d like to place another emphasis on the important influence and impact that prayer can have on our lives.
Many years ago, I was deeply convicted and became absolutely convinced that the gracious gift of our salvation from the penalty and power of sin along with the precious privilege of having direct access to God Almighty through prayer provides us something that’s absolutely priceless! Please pause for a moment and try to think of something that’s more valuable. But even though I firmly believe and recognize this, I’m also afraid that too often in our busy, face—paced society, prayer is frequently squeezed out of our list of highest priorities. As we begin this new decade, let’s work together to make prayer more prominent in every aspect of our ministry at Appleton Community EFC. I’m reminded of something Ravi Zacharias has said, “The purpose of prayer and of God’s call in your life isn’t to make you number one in the world’s eyes but to make Him number one in your life. I do not believe that one can earnestly seek and find the priceless treasure of God’s call without a devout prayer life. That is where God speaks.”
So, here are some suggestions for us to consider:
1) It’s very helpful to set aside specific and regular times for prayer. This can be done as a personal goal/objective and it can also be done by a group of people who want to help hold one another accountable.
2) Prayer is a form of worship and should include both expressions of gratitude as well as our requests.
3) Another hint about making prayer a priority is to keep a current list of prayer requests on note cards, in a small portable notebook, on an app or file on your phone, on your refrigerator, or somewhere that would conveniently remind you to pause for prayer. It’s also important to update your list often and observe or try to find out what answers God is providing.
4) Something else that might be beneficial is to pray for specific people, particular ministries, or on—going prayer requests on a day—by—day basis. For instance, you might pray on Wednesdays for Awana, on Saturdays for our Sunday worship service or for the Youth Group that meets on Sunday evenings, or something like that.
5) Encourage one another by taking a few moments each week to discuss your prayer concerns with someone else. Talk to your spouse or another family member about the blessings you’re experiencing from prayer.
One of the greatest gifts we can provide one another is praying faithfully that everyone will grow more and more into the image of Christ—a growing relationship with our Lord and Savior!
As always, with praise for His grace and prayer for His glory, Pastor Greg