“PRAYER is the GREATEST power God has put into our hands for service…PRAYER is harder work than DOING…but the dynamic lies that way to ADVANCE the kingdom” ~Mary Slessor
Prayer is an uncommon thing in the life of a believer today. The Muslims and Jews do more praying than all the denominational joints of Christianity put together and while they pray, we wonder what happened to power in the Church. The dominant question then is “Why have Christians ceased to pray?” The answer is quite simple. In the mind of modern-day Christianity, prayer = dishes and laundry while youth groups, bible studies, benefit dinners, sing-alongs, and rallies = the “real” spiritual work. These things are all good – part of the growing Christian life and the working out of God’s call – but not THE call.
God’s CALLING is prayer. The WORKING OUT of that calling will be service.
How do we know that prayer is God’s calling? When Jesus was challenged by the Jewish leaders of His day regarding “the greatest commandment,” He replied with a profound answer: “Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God…and the second is like unto it; thou shalt LOVE thy neighbor as thyself. On these two…hang ALL the law…” How do we love God? We are back to the basic reality that building a relationship requires intimate communion, and for the Christian and Jesus Christ, this is found only in prayer. Until this calling is fulfilled, the service is of little or no worth to God.
America has thousands of missionaries on the fields of foreign countries, but a vast majority of them are lacking their primary support -an intimate prayer life with the true Converter of souls. Today’s day lacks the women and men of faith like those who went before, founded on prayer. You can’t find the George Mullers, the Gladys Aylwards, the Amy Carmichaels, the Hudson Taylors…on the mission fields or in the churches. Prayer has gotten lost in “noble deeds”, and the men and women who were mighty in spirit went with it.
I remember the day I learned an important lesson about prayer. I got “left behind” while those I had so wanted to serve along side of were thrust into the “big, important stuff.” I was told I could do my part in prayer. I recall the thought, “Pray? All I can do is pray? Why can’t God use me for a big, important job?” In my mind that day, prayer was “the least of these.” As I look back on that week, I realize how important prayer was and is. There were nights that week that I was roused out of sleep in the wee hours of the morning. A name would come to mind…and the next day, that very one had been saved or had wrestled with surrender all through the night hours. God was faithful and I was ashamed.
“Prayer changes things.”
Never neglect prayer. It is the calling of the believer, the entry way to glory, the secret place that finds the heart of God. It is the greatest weapon we have, the biggest comfort and ally we will ever find. It is the means of communication with our Creator. Are you lacking in this necessity? Go to your closet and shut the door. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.