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Prayer's Significance


How many of us, as believers in Jesus Christ, recognize the significance of prayer in both our individual lives and in the Christian Church? It is a strong opinion by many that our failure to consistently spend quality time at God’s “throne of grace” has resulted in “spiritual bankruptcy” we see today. Essentially, prayer is the vital like between Almighty God and His children. The activity of prayer must be "a way of life" for the believer and the Christian Church as a whole. Remember, individual saints make up the Church.

Do we not feel nauseated by the quagmire and filth initiated by godlessness, sexual immorality, greed, corruption, dishonesty, lies, and “political correctness” in society today? We have heard the expression, “Nero (the Roman emperor) fiddled while Rome burned,” meaning he played music while his people suffered. May we never reach the stage where we become complacent and unconcerned for ”lost souls” because of our indifference and lethargy toward prayer. When last have we prayed like this: “Spirit of the living God, work fresh through me.”

The following quotation is most noteworthy: “We will only advance in our evangelistic work as fast and as far as we advance on our knees. Prayer opens the channel between a soul and God; prayerlessness closes it. Prayer releases the grip of Satan's power; prayerlessness increases it. That is why prayer is so exhausting and so vital. If we believed it, the prayer meeting would be as full as the church.” (Alan Redpath, 1907-1989). Billy Graham once said, “To get our nation on its feet, we must get on our knees.” Society will continue to go to hell without our total commitment to prayer.

Prayer is our greatest resource for a spirit-filled life. The apostle Paul wrote, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance” (Ephesians 6:18). Note this about prayer: “at all times,” “with all prayer and supplication,” and “with all perseverance.” Unless God’s people are sincere about prayer and take and devote the time to this godly exercise, the Christian Church will not experience a tremendous visitation and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In other words, no meaningful revival will come about.

The following ancient hymn has been a source of motivation and inspiration for me. “What various hindrances we meet In coming to a mercy seat; Yet who that knows the worth of prayer, But wishes to be often there. Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw, Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw; Gives exercise to faith and love, Brings every blessing from above. Restraining prayer, we cease to fight; Prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright; And Satan trembles, when he sees The weakest saint upon his knees” (William Cowper, poet and hymn writer, 1731-1800). Cowper seems to speak to many if not all of us.

It is virtually impossible for a Christian to truly love God and give only lip service to prayer. We will hardly find the time to pray, hence, we must take the time. “He must set his heart to conquer by prayer, and that will mean that he must first conquer his own flesh, for it is the flesh that hinders prayer always” (A.W. Tozer). Little prayer brings little blessing. Much prayer brings much blessing. Fervent prayer requires time and effort.

The Christian Church should not completely lose its “attack power” in its witness because there is not enough attention to personal prayer and prayer meetings. We can recall when “Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5). And Peter became a free man. Note these words, “earnest prayer to God by the church.” A good example of what can be achieved when the Church prays. Prayer is the Christian's vital breath. Let us pray!

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