I am saddened to realize that this, the 12th issue of A Faith that Works, is the first issue addressing prayer. How did I miss it? This may show that I can relegate prayer to the theoretical, spiritual, and theological aspects of life, and keep it out of the practical level. One reason for writing A Faith that Works is to help answer this question: “What does it mean to live as a Christian today?” Well, it seems the way forward begins and continues through prayer. Jesus did not say “If you pray,” or “When you get the time to pray,” or “At your monthly prayer meetings” do this or that. He said “When you pray,” operating out of the assumption that His followers will be regular, passionate people of prayer.
Do not neglect prayer. The measure of your spiritual heartbeat and God-desiring temperature is directly proportional to the level of priority, importance, and passion you give yourself to prayer. Please understand me here. I am not saying that you need to jump into more prayer groups and into more corporate times of prayer to prove that you are a praying person. Certainly there is a time and place for group prayer gatherings, but Jesus did teach us that we need to regularly find a quiet place to come away to and pray to our Father “who is in the secret place.” Oh, how bright our lights can shine, and how real can be our direction and discernment to the question “What does it mean to live as a Christian today?” when we bring ourselves, our struggles, our questions, and our praise before God in private prayer. The writer of Hebrews tells the believer to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. Our times of prayer to the Father are likely the most practical, most God-glorifying, most Real, and most wise ways that we can allow God to direct our steps and make Him known to the world around us. Seek His face. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.
Here is a prayer dare. Schedule a one-hour date with God this week and take it to pray, perhaps laying your Bible open before God and asking Him to direct you in listening to Him and in praying to Him.