Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Prayer: The Lifeblood of the Church and the Christian Life

COLOSSIANS 4:2 – Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

Prayer is a hot topic. As we see the rapid death of our nation, yes, I do believe this is happening with no return to what we once knew of our beloved country, there is an increasing emphasis placed in churches and Christians for prayer; particularly prayer for revival. I am in the camp. So is my church. We hold four prayer meetings a week, not that we boast of such, but that we are desperate for the Lord’s Presence and Power among us. Revival praying, though, must be kept in the right context. We are not nor should Christians pray for revival for our comfort or even for the reclamation of our country. Revival is for two purposes – the glory of God and His praise. The Psalmist would tell us in his plea for revival, “ Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6). This may well mean God’s people (us, His church) experience revival but our nation in its unbridled ungodliness and immorality incurs severe judgment from God, even to the point of extinction. God is not mocked and a nation that celebrates what God calls “abominations” and continues to rebel against Him will suffer the consequences. But back to prayer . . .

Pray for revival we must. Pray for our families we must. Pray for our church, communities, nation, and world we must. Pray to know the Lord we must. And every Christian knows these “musts” in their lives. And every Christian struggles with a consistent, effectual and relational prayer life. The reason for this struggle is two-fold.

First, prayer is the most important spiritual discipline a church and Christian will do, so it should be the spiritual discipline most opposed by the devil, world, and flesh (Acts 1:14; 2:42). Think about it. Don’t we find intensified fatigue come upon us when we seek to pray? It isn’t difficult to spend an hour in the evening watching a mindless movie, surfing the net, or some other worldly thing, but try to give an hour over to prayer. Sleepiness, mind adrift, and giving up come so easily in those times. And what about being faithful to prayer with God’s people at a prayer meeting? How easily we allow some diversion or distraction prevent our attendance. If we hope to build a consistency in prayer, we must understand it is warfare attacked relentlessly by all our spiritual foes.

Another reason why prayer is a struggle for Christians is because we are prone to forget prayer alone and with other believers is a command to obey, not an option to consider or practice to ignore. Today’s scripture toward prayer is a command. Our feelings and emotions are not the vehicles driving any obedience to God’s commands. Sadly, we too often allow them to do so. Should we find our prayer lives, or even the whole of the Christian life languishing in joylessness and life, evaluate the consistency of our intentional obedience to God’s commands. Any allowed disobedience in the Christian life stops spiritual growth and severs fellowship with the Lord. And that applies to the commands “continue in prayer” and “pray always” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Prayer. It is the lifeblood in the church and lives of Christians. May the Lord help us see its importance and then seek to develop it the way the Bible would have us do so.

PRAYER: “Father, teach me the privilege and importance of a consistent prayer life before and with You.”
QUOTE: “Prayer is the most difficult of all spiritual disciplines because it is the most important.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim