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The Bible teaches that we Christians are to pray. Earlier today in my Sunday school class, we looked at Acts 2:42, a verse that describes the activities of the early Christians in Jerusalem: And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. My wife and I had the great opportunity to teach third, fourth and fifth graders how important it is to read our Bibles, to fellowship and to pray. These things help us grow as Christians.

Prayer, both individually and corporately, allows us to experience the joy of answered prayer and to see the power of God work among us. If God is going to work powerfully in our lives, then we cannot avoid the discipline of prayer. The neglect of prayer will simply translate into a life where the hand of God is rarely seen in our lives and in church. For people to come to Christ in large numbers, we at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church must be a house of prayer.

We must cry out to God day and night for people to come to Christ. Do we pray for at five people five minutes a day? God uses the prayers of his people on earth to work out his will in the world and in the lives of people. Ephesians 6:18 exhorts us to pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication and to keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

Our weapons are spiritual. Prayer is our most powerful resource to advance the kingdom of God on the earth. The Bible is clear: we absolutely must pray if lives are to be transformed by the Lord Jesus.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 33:3. God, through the prophet Jeremiah said: Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. God invites us to call to him! Earlier in chapter 29, verse 12, the Lord said: Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

God promises that when we call to him, he will answer us. What a great promise! God will answer us. He also promises that he will tell us great and hidden things that we have not previously known! God will reveal future things.

One the great books on the power of prayer in the local church is called Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Pastor Jim Cymbala. In it he writes:

If we call upon the Lord, He has promised in his Word to answer, to bring the unsaved to Himself, to pour out His Spirit among us. If we don’t call upon the Lord, He has promised nothing—nothing at all. It’s as simple as that. No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer. This is the engine that drives the church.

Prayer is the engine that drives the church. Let us call to God! He promises to answer!

Pastor Bryan

July 2011