Prayer: A Priority, A Privilege, & A Lifestyle
Prayer is the world’s most powerful wireless connection! According
to one of the most quoted preachers from the 1800’s,
Charles Spurgeon, “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise, nor a
vocal performance. It should be understood as far more than that. It is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of heaven and earth.” Corrie Ten Boom once said that “any concern too small to be turned into prayer is also too small to be made into a burden.” On a personal note, many years ago, I became convinced that prayer should be one of our highest priorities because it seemed as if too many people saw it as a parachute that was available for emergency situations. At that time, I had read an article in “Leadership Journal for Christian Leaders” that used research about how often, and why people prayed. If it was anywhere close to accurate, it was humbling. It prompted me to adjust my emphasis on prayer. This month both Pastor Blake and I are writing about our Church’s core value of prayer. “At ACEFC, we believe that daily prayer is essential in the life of a believer and because of that we pray with a sense of expectancy, knowing that God is actively involved in our world.”
I’m using Ephesians 8:18 (inserted above) as the basis for us to see five specific instructions about prayer.
1) Prayer should be both consistent and continuous. Notice the first four words of this verse: “Pray at
all times!” Prayer is more than an activity—it’s also an attitude. There are many biblical passages that
remind us to pray whenever we face a need or concern by presenting our requests to God. God is always
available because He has promised that He will never leave or abandon us.
2) As a follow – up to the idea that God is always present with us, we’re reminded that His Spirit indwells our lives. This enables us to pray in the power of the Spirit. God’s Spirit assists us in prayer. Romans 8 explains to us that God’s Spirit sometimes helps us effectively express our needs and desires.
3) One of the reasons for prayer is to support one another by making intercession to God for each other’s needs. Please notice how Paul exhorts us to intercede for all the saints and also recognize how often he tells his readers that he prays for their spiritual maturity and growth. Beyond that, Paul frequently asked his readers to pray for his ability to boldly and confidently proclaim the message
4) In order to pray effectively for all the saints, it’s especially helpful for us to stay alert so we can be aware of what, why, and how we should pray. This involves knowing the requests and needs, as well as knowing how or when God answers our prayers.
5) Finally, Paul encourages us to pray with perseverance—that means being persistent and passionate in our requests to God. This also strongly suggests that we pray in faith with a sense of expectancy that God is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think for the sake of His glory.
As I draw this article to a close, here are a couple additional comments I’d like to make. This morning I received an encouraging text message from someone who said, “Good morning Pastor! We continue to pray for you and Donna …” There was a little more to the message, but I want to explain that those words literally put a spring in my step because they’re so comforting to hear/read. One of the quotes I read in preparing to write this, states, “Prayer is admitting that we are totally dependent on God.” I’m always ready to admit how much I need God’s guidance and wisdom on a continual basis, and I appreciate your prayers!
I also hope it’s clear to each of us that prayer is an amazing privilege that we enjoy because God graciously gives us access to “His Throne of Grace.” We don’t approach Him because we are worthy—it’s only because we are sprinkled clean by the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (—from Hebrews 10:19—23).
With prayer for God’s glory and praise for His grace …
And as always, with prayer for our ACEFC family, Pastor Greg