Below is my monthly article for the Harvey Oaks Baptist Church. The focus of the article is on the fact that the average Christian falls way short of what expects in our prayer life…

I read recently that the average Christian prays three to four minutes per day. And most of that takes place at praying at meal times. The prayer life of the “average” Christian is quite different for the prayer life of “normal” Christian found in the Bible. The “normal” Christian according to 1 Thessalonians 5:17 will pray without ceasing. In other words, a “normal” Christian will experience a constant fellowship with God that is accompanied with a prayerful attitude.

The “normal” Christian is to be like Jesus in Luke 5:16 who would withdraw to desolate places and pray. The construction of this verse in the Greek indicates that it was a continual practice of Jesus to find some lonely place so that he could pray. This goes along with the command of Jesus in Matthew 6:6…But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.

The “normal” Christian will also be devoted to corporate prayer. Acts 2:42 points out that the early Christians in Jerusalem were devoted the fellowship and to the prayers. They were committed to gathering with one another for fellowship and for the prayer times. Fellowship and prayer go hand in hand because the more we pray together, the more intimate our relationships become.

The “normal” Christian will have a lifestyle characterized by prayer. Colossians 4:2 says Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thankfulness. Thus, we can see that the “normal” Christian will pray much than the “average” American Christian. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told the Parable of the Persistent Widow:

18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The point of the parable was to encourage the disciples of Jesus to pray persistently. If the unrighteous judge finally and reluctantly gave in to the constant pleas of the widow, how much more will the righteous God answer those who cry out to him, in pray, day and night?

In the last verse, Jesus asked if he will find faith on the earth when he returns. In other words, when Jesus Christ comes back a second time, will he find his people praying? May we continue to become a house of prayer at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church. May we pray much in private and together so that the Kingdom of God will expand greatly through us.

Pastor Bryan