Friday, July 29, 2005

The Priority of Prayer

This past year our church had a special week of prayer. It was a chance for us to humble ourselves, acknowledge our need for God's help in every aspect of life and call out to him as a church family. Throughout the week we also had a special prayer room where people could dedicate an hour to prayer. The room contained seven "prayer points" that guided people to prepare their hearts, pray for the advance of the gospel around the world, to pray for our church, etc.

What you see pictured above is the "prayer wall" in the room that allowed people to post the names of unsaved friends. It was very moving to see all the names on the wall listing neighbors, brothers, mothers, husbands, co-workers.

I share this as an encouragement to pursue God in prayer. So often we carry our burdens, worry about the future and desire to see God act on our behalf, and yet we neglect to pray. If you're looking for some encouragement and provocation in the area of prayer we did a sermon series at our church called Praying the Savior's Way based on the Lord's prayer. You can download all the sermons for free or listen online.

Here's a great quote on prayer:

“The Muslims have some ninety-nine different names for God. Creator, Enricher, Watcher, Avenger—these different names will feature in a Muslim’s prayer. Not one of them is ‘Father’. But it would be impossible for a Christian to compile a list of even two or three names for God, without ‘Father’ being one of them. It is the name by which we know him best.

The implications of this for the prayer life are enormous. The person who, through faith in Christ, has entered “the family” of God no longer regards prayer as a means of twisting the arm of a reluctant deity, of squeezing favours out of a distant and all-powerful benefactor. As one of the old Bible commentators puts it, “What a distance between us in our helplessness and God in his glory, but ‘Father’ reaches all the way!’”
—Richard Bewes, Talking About Prayer


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