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Someone once wrote that “A church is never more like the New Testament church than when it is praying.” Worship is important. The teaching of God’s Word is crucial in every church. So is fellowship and evangelism. The Bible is also clear that every church must be committed to prayer. Colossians 4.2 says: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Prayer is to be like breathing for the follower of Jesus!

Praying is a means from God to sustain us even in the darkest of times. Prayer is essential for the power and presence of God to be evident in our lives and the life of the church. If we do not pray, then we are essentially dead in the water. Often prayer is something we do after we have exhausted our own resources, but as Oswald Chambers wrote, “Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”

Jesus is our example of individual prayer. Luke 5.16 says that “Jesus would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Not only are we to pray privately like Jesus, but we are to place an invested emphasis on praying together as a church Corporate prayer was an essential activity of the first church. D.A. Carson wrote, “Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived.” We absolutely must pray together—or God will certainly pass us by.

Charles Spurgeon wrote…

The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge the amount of divine working among the people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of first tokens of His absence will be slothfulness in prayer!

~ Bryan

 

“There is another reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer that seems if possible even more forcible than this, namely, praying is the most important part of the present ministry of our risen Lord.” 

~ R. A. TorreyHow to Pray (1900), 12.

“All the mighty men (and I will add women) have been men (and women) of prayer. They have differed from one another in many things, but in this they have been alike.”

~ R. A. TorreyHow to Pray (1900), 11

“Why is it,” both ministers and churches are asking, “that the church of Christ makes so little headway against unbelief and error andn sin and worldliness?” Once more we hear God answering, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”

~ R. A. TorreyHow to Pray (1900), 10.

“Prayer is a force as real as terrestrial gravity. As a physician, I have seen men, after all other therapy had failed, lifted out of disease and melancholy by the serene effort of prayer. Only in prayer do we achieve that complete and harmonious assembly of body, mind and spirit which gives the frail human reed its unshakable strength.”

“Prayer lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer.”

Elisabeth Elliot  

“Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.” 

~ E. M. Bounds

Edward McKendree Bounds
Edward McKendree Bounds (circa 1864)

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

~ C.S. Lewis

“Time alone with the Lord Jesus each day is the indispensable condition of growth and power.”

~ Andrew Murray

April 2020
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