Too often, as Jesus followers we talk a good game about prayer and even talk about praying a lot, but when pressed to be honest, we have to admit that we actually don’t pray very much. It is our desire to change this trend, in our personal lives, and in the life of our young church.
We want to be a people who have A Passion for Prayer. Our passion for prayer is to see it be the central engine that drives all we do. Our hope then, is that our prayer will be faith-filled, dependence-motivated, faithfully practiced, both formal and spontaneous.
Why do we say, “the central engine that drives all we do?”. We say that because of what happens when we pray! Consider these seven amazing things that happen when God speaks to us as we are in conversation with him; seven promises of prayer we find in God’s Word.
- When we are passionate to hear God’s voice in prayer, we gain understanding. Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
- When we pray, we get wisdom. James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
- When we pray, we receive direction. Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes [or “directs”] his steps.”
- When we are passionate to hear God’s voice in prayer, the joy of the Lord fills our hearts. John 16:24, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
- When we pray God pours out mercy and grace. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
- When we are passionate to hear God’s voice in prayer, we have peace of mind. Philippians 4:6-7, “…do not be anxious [don’t worry; don’t fret] about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- When we pray God’s will is accomplished. James 5:16-18, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”
Why do we say, “faith-filled?” We say that because praying without faith makes no sense. It is just dry ritual. This is a powerful word from Wayne Grudem: “If we were really convinced that prayer changes the way God acts and that God does bring about remarkable changes in the world in a response to prayer, as Scripture repeatedly teaches that he does, then we would pray much more than we do. If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplishes much at all.”
Why do we say, dependence-motivated” We say that because God is glorified as the great Giver in our dependence. Prayer is an act of desperation! It says, “We can’t do this alone…we don’t have the wisdom, the power, the compassion…We need you. If you don’t act, we’re in big trouble!
We will be passionate to pray…A pastor I know, speaking about the vital role of prayer, once said, “No one can become an authentic Christian on a steady diet of activity. Power comes out of stillness; strength comes out of solitude.” (Bill Hybels) We will pray…
- In our homes
- In our community groups
- At special times
- When we gather…
O that we would be a people whose strength and power and authenticity flow out of the stillness and solitude of our prayers!
“Among professing Christians, prayerlessness produces joylessness.” (John Piper)