Reading Time 4 min 41 sec - Speaking Time 9 min 1 sec
What are the traditional Christian activities? Assemble, communion, fellowship, evangelism, and baptism, to name a few. Of all the Christian "things" we do, however, the thing we probably do most often is prayer. We pray when we eat, worship, when we're alone, when visiting sick people, during times of trouble and despair, or when we are pleased.
We probably rack up more time praying than any other spiritual "exercise" we do as Christians. For this reason, the prayer activity sometimes gets a little stale and boring. Like anything else, if you repeat it often enough, it begins to feel old and ineffective.
Never stop praying, and let's consider some reasons why we should persevere. You should persevere in prayer because:
Prayer is Needed For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In Ephesians 6:12, Paul tells us that the true struggle in this world is not between countries or economic systems (these only reflect the actual battle). Work is "..against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." The battle is against Satan and his evil forces continually trying to destroy the church and spread the word of God.
Some people have wisdom from below and can only see the small picture of human wars, politics, and power. God has given through His word the ability to see the bigger picture, which is that the battle in the spiritual realm creates the struggle in the physical realm. Some choose to fight with guns and diplomacy and financial wheeling and dealing - the local battles for territory, money, and temporary power. Others choose to fight the war on the first front, the spiritual front against the true enemies, and they fight this battle with the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and prayer.
Paul says that the "wages of sin are death" in Romans 6:23. Peter says that Satan continually prowls around to devour. In other words, he constantly tries to seduce people into sin to create death and its symptoms in their lives. Prayer is needed to counteract his attacks in many ways:
Continue to pray because it is needed, but also because:
Prayer is the Basic Ministry of the Church.We know the ministry system in the church: Education, Evangelism, Fellowship, Service, and Worship. These activities allow individuals and the congregation growth. But each of these individual ministry groups needs prayer to be effective. We need to:
Never stop praying because:
Prayer is PowerfulSometimes I hear people say things like, "We could always pray" or "Let's pray; it can't hurt." Statements like this reveal that we don't recognize the power of prayer. Prayer is not wishful thinking or desperation! Prayer is powerful for several reasons:
We have not covered every aspect of prayer, the types of prayers to be made, or examples of how we should pray. This June, we will give more information about renewed faith and prayer - why and how to do it effectively. For now, I remind you not to give up on praying as part of your Christian life and encourage those who do not pray regularly to begin making it part of their daily walk with the Lord because:
Take the very short 5 question quiz on this blog below.
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Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
An Evangelist at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL.