Do I Really Believe Prayer Works?
“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” Psalm 15:2
We have been on an interesting journey as a ministry (www.americaskeswick.org) for the past several months. Since the inception of the ministry, prayer has been a vital part of this ministry. In fact, in 1999, our Board of Trustees spent significant time and prayer crafting our core value statements and prayer was the #4 core value.
On Friday, March 13th (How cool to do this on Friday 13th), the Board updated our core values by putting prayer as the number two core value. Pray is a very high priority in the life of our ministry.
This journey has caused me to ask myself a lot of questions of not only of our ministry, but also in my own personal life. For the next couple of weeks, the focus of my Monday morning Freedom Fighter blog, will be to share what God has been teaching me about prayer.
The first question I have been asking myself is: Do I really believe that prayer is a vital part of our lives? Make it personal now – If so, is it really a vital part of my life?
We read about prayer in the Bible. There are 508 references to prayer in the Bible and 650 different prayers in the Bible. We quote the big guns on prayer: Oswald Chambers, E.M. Bounds, F.B. Meyer, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, and George Mueller. But do I experienced the same power of prayer in my own life?
Do I really believe God answers prayer? Better yet, does He really answer my prayers? Is so, why do I wait until the crisis to pray when the Bible seems to indicate that my communication with the Father (or as my friend Dr. Richard Allen Farmer says, “Poppa!”) should be as natural and as spontaneous as breathing itself?
If we really believe that prayer is so powerful and vital, why is the prayer meeting in most of our evangelical churches the smallest attend service of the week, or quite sadly, almost non-existent today?
Our ethnic brothers and sisters put us to shame. God is at work in mighty ways around the globe and it would seem that behind every great movement of God there are people praying. Many of our Asian friends are up very early in the morning joining hundreds of their brothers and sisters at prayer meetings.
We have a Morning Prayer meeting during our Keswick conferences. We are having a good day when we have a dozen or two women gathering to pray and a handful of men. For the past two weekends we have had our annual Hispanic conferences. What touched my heart was that both weekends, the prayer services were packed – with men and women crying out to God.
We find ourselves saying to each other in the body of Christ – “I’ll be praying for you.” Or “I prayed for you.” Question. If we are really honest, did we really do it or is it just a part of our “Christianese” – this is the right thing to say?
Is part of the lack of prayer in my life just because of the lack of discipline? Or could it be that deep down I am afraid to pray because “What if God DOESN’T answer this or that prayer?
Dr. David Tripp in his powerful devotional, NEW MORNING MERCIES says: Prayer is abandoning my reliance on me and running toward the rest that can be found only when I rely on the power of God. Prayer abandons independence. Prayer forsakes any thought that you can make it on your own. Prayer affirms dependency. Prayer acknowledges weakness. Prayer renounces assessments of capability. Prayer embraces the reality of failure. Prayer tells you that you are not at the center. Prayer calls you to abandon your plans for the wiser plans of another. Prayer flows from a deep personal sense of need and runs toward God’s abundant grace.
I am pressing in on this subject of prayer. I am excited about what I am learning. But learning can’t be just learning about it. As the infamous NIKE ad says – JUST DO IT! Pray! – Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick
Think About This: I would have no desire other than to accomplish Thy will. Teach me to pray; pray thyself in me. Francois Fenelon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And set me before Your face forever. Psalm 41:12