Why Pray So Much?

I am sure you have heard the above question. Perhaps you might have even posed it. Do we really pray much? What about church committees? What do they do when they meet? Is it all business and decision-making?
Well, let me expose you to some of the committees I am privileged to attend or be a part of. These include the General Conference and the Inter American Division committees. Much time is spent in prayer each morning and throughout the course of the meeting. “Why?” you ask. After all aren’t these organizations of which the committee is made religious? Don’t spirituality form who the members are? So why should there be the need to engage in much prayer? In fact, the current period is the time for Week of Prayer so why pray so much? Does God need to be stroked?

Prayer Is the Main Business of the Church
Notwithstanding the spiritual make up of committee member (they are all members inclusive of administrators, directors, pastors, educators and laypersons etc.), leaders consider it necessary to “Seek first the kingdom of God.” That is intentionally setting aside time for the spoken word, singing, prayer, and more prayer. I confess that at the Fall Executive Committee of the General Conference in 2010 (my first), I felt as though we were spending too much time in prayer and the word. As not to give the impression of being irreligious, I clarify that my main concern was, “How would we complete pages of agenda items while devoting excessive time to worship?” To my surprise, we completed the agenda, finishing on time and more spiritually in tune. Following the GC meetings, it was on to the Division’s Meetings; and the same intensity followed. Again the business of the church went well. The agenda was covered, and nothing was lost. Essentially, I learned a valuable lesson. In God’s church and in His business, first things must come first. There must be an attitude of dependence.

Prayer Denotes Dependence Upon God
Prayer denotes reliance upon God. Though we may be experienced leaders and personnel comprising various church committees at all levels, time is made for prayer. To bypass it is to open the door to the enemy and the decisions of men. It is saying, even subtly, Lord we can get by on “quarter tank.” Experience has taught some of us better. Taking for granted an agenda because it is short, believing that in a short time it will be finished, can result in unexpected hours of discussions and debates. But inviting God through prayer and devoting quality time for worshipping Him have provided an air of smoothness and transition that otherwise might not have been experienced. Prayer or time with God augurs well for each committee member and chairman. Referring to a popular ad regarding American Express, “Don’t leave home with out it,” I would say, “Don’t begin meeting without inviting God and seeking His wisdom and favor.” In other words, don’t take Him for granted. Doing so could spell disaster.

Prayers in the mentioned committees are not aimless. Actually, they prompt us to reflect on why we exist (our mission statement depicting our purpose). Also, worship allows for the breaking and melting of human hearts. It reminds us of the grace of God, and our constant need of renewal. It also drives us to be grateful as we focus on the way that God has blessed and is blessing His church. So worship inclusive of prayer is not an intrusion. It is the business of the church. How can one who professes Christ and propose to act in His behalf not make time for the very thing that will touch hearts, minds, pocket books and enable the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work? I think it was Spurgeon who quipped that he could not get along without 4 hours of prayer each day.
Do you pray before making not just major but small decisions? Do you consult God before major purchases or minor ones? Do you pray strategically for family, leaders, and persons who offend you? Jesus in Matthew 5 admonishes us to “Love,” “bless,” “do good,” and “pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:44-45, NKJV).