Why Pray –Does It Make Sense?
Why Pray –Does It Make Sense?
Over the years, I have heard many negative expressions about prayer such as, “We use that crap called prayer to say that we are seeking God’s favor when we have our own plans.” Another said, “Prayer rallies really do not address crime and curb its effect.” Still another asserted, “Christians use prayer as an excuse for doing something.” While there may be some truth to some of these expressions, do they lessen the need for prayer? Certainly not! Jesus admonished that we pray, and the Apostle Paul implores us to prayer always; therefore, it is against this premise that I encourage you to pray even more in 2014. Pray as never before, and pray responsibly.
Pray More in 2014
Throughout our four fields within the Union, there are several prayer emphases supported by prayer warriors and pastors. These are good and ought to be supported. However, I wish to submit that we also give attention to the Ten Days of Prayer initiative of the General Conference. In fact, I was pleased to see this being promoted already in some of our fields’ newsletters. Commencing on January 8 – 18, it will be our privilege to pray for specific concerns and needs. This is most appropriate as 2013 has been a challenging year in all three countries of ATCU. Actually, you can get started this Sabbath, January 4, 2014. Pastor Peter Kerr, Union Prayer Coordinator, reminded me that this Sabbath is a day of Prayer and Fasting. On this first Sabbath, the focus will be on “pastors and elders and for the success of Vision One Million Evangelistic initiative.” Pastor Kerr also explained that, “each field may include other concerns or needs.”
Pray As Never Before
There is no question that prayer works; and by that I mean it is real and effective. That is best understood by those who pray, sense the presence of God, and experience calmness and assurance amidst all the vicissitudes of life. Essentially, prayer links me with My Creator daily. Each day and throughout the day I am given the opportunity to connect and stay in touch with God. I consider this a privilege. Also, there are specific persons that my wife and I pray for daily. We call these individuals by name and follow up to ascertain whether or not the situation and or need had been addressed. Now that is not to say that we do not pray generally for members and people throughout ATCU. We certainly do, as the Union’s Prayer Initiative P.U.S.H. (pray until something happens) ensures this fact. Each day for the past two years ATCU has had a specific focus for its territory inclusive of leaders, workers, members and non-members. In fact, I am excited about the 2014 Prayer initiative. Using 2 Peter 1:5-11, we will focus on spiritual virtues such as faith, goodness, knowledge, temperance, patience, Godliness, love, etc. All of these are geared to help us to live out and practice our Christianity daily and, thereby, be ready for our Lord’s return.
Sincere prayer or praying enables us to connect with God; and that very fact enables us to see self and also others. Recall the vision experience of young Isaiah in chapter 6 of the book bearing his name? His encounter with God allowed for a glimpse of God’s greatness and power so much so that Isaiah declared, “Woe is me!” in seeing his sinfulness. But observe that in the process, he also saw the people around him and their state of doom. However, what stands out is that he became convicted of the need to do something about it and therefore volunteered to go and minister unto them. The point is simply this –when touched and awakened by God through our prayer life and His word, we will sense the need to bless others with that which is needed, or that which we can cause to happen. As Christians, we are to do more than just pray but feed, assist, visit with one another and others. Thereby, it will be seen that Christianity is practical and would never use prayer as an alibi to do good. As we develop a stronger and more consistent prayer lifestyle, our churches, fields and countries would be in a better state. So let’s pray without ceasing and support the various initiatives of the church and its leadership. Have a great 2014!