This morning I met with a band of men who decided to meet together and pray at 3 o’clock in the morning. Yes, I said that correctly, we began to pray at 3 A.M. and we didn’t finish until 7. We had planned to pray until 8 A. M. but there was a scheduling conflict, and we had to leave our reserved room an hour early.
Often when people think about God the idea comes to mind of an all knowing being, that has already decided what is going to happen. In this regard the question immediately arises, why pray? In other words, if our prayers are not going to change anything, why pray?
People get their minds all twisted out of shape, when they try to reduce an infinite God to something they can understand easily. If God were easy to understand, it would not be God. In contrast, the Sovereign Lord (One who decides what is going to take place before the foundation of the world) commands people to pray. Furthermore, He tells people in His Word, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). God is sovereign and prayers are effective. If you can’t figure that out, you have joined the ranks of those who exercise faith in a God whose workings cannot be understood. Who wants to believe in a God whose ways can be understood in the same way we understand ourselves. We are not like God.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8, 9
THE REASONS ME SHOULD PRAY
Therefore, a small band of men met to pray, in hope that they would be heard for their devotion to Christ. Why devotion? In Acts 6, Peter is recorded as saying, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” When the responsibility of serving tables arose in the early church, the Apostles understanding their specific call, counseled the church to choose out seven men, filled with the Spirit, to serve tables. The Apostles, however, set as their priority as prayer and teaching the word of God.
When considering the matter as to why members of a local church should set aside four hours in the wee hours of the morning to pray, these questions came to my mind. Has any person for whom Jesus died cost Him less suffering than any other? The answer is a resounding no! Did Jesus die for all those He saved? The answer is yes. There are different responsibilities within the general call of all believers. Some and not called to preach. All are called to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, both by word and deed. God gives Pastor/teachers for the perfecting of the saints and the work of ministry (Ephesians 4). The work of ministry is given to all members, according to their individual giftedness.
The work of ministry begins with prayer. Each and every born again, redeemed, saved, forgiven, and set free child of God is responsible to live for Him who saved him. The just, we are told, shall live by faith. Faith is grown in the greenhouse of prayer. Prayer grows faith, like the sun grows the flower. The believer should take up the gauntlet of devoting himself to prayer, for the sake of Him who suffered, bled, died, and rose again.
When Peter (A leader and example to the flock) told the church that they would devote themselves to prayer, he used the word, proskarteréō, which is a verb, that means to show steadfast strength. When used properly it in indicates a person who shows consistent strength which prevails or endures in spite of difficulties. It stays firm in a fixed direction. The direction is prayer and faith in God who answers the prayers of those who remain steadfast and immovable in their faith in God.
Why pray? Because God said so, Jesus suffered and died, it is the means by which God carries out His plans in the world, and it is the best way to get to know God better.
Don’t forget to check out my book, THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW
EXCERPT from the preface:
“Often after proclaiming the gospel to others, I have desired to place something in their hands along with the scriptures: a detailed description of the Jesus of the Bible. Nothing is more important than for a person to see Jesus. Whether Jew, Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, or Catholic, all need to see Jesus as the one they need more than all others.” Available on Amazon