the Persecuted church across the nations
Some thoughts on the Call to Prayer. We are a nation that is rich in Christian teaching resources, and the subject of Prayer is covered in depth by extremely gifted, talented and experienced men and women of God from a broad range of Christian traditions.
However, the challenge when it comes to prayer is not teaching, essential as this is. Neither is it knowledge of the Bible, important as it is to know how to ‘pray the Word’. The key challenge is that Prayer is something that has to be ‘caught’. It is only as we pray, that we learn to pray. This is true for individual personal prayer (or ‘closet’ prayer as Jesus called it), as well as corporate prayer (which we might term ‘upper room’ prayer, Acts 1:13). There are no short cuts, and it is by no means an easy process. Like any other, our relationship and communion with God our Creator involves sacrifice, time and commitment.
Fallen man has a ‘strange reluctance to commune’ which, if we are not careful, can hinder us from entering into the wonder of our restored relationship with a holy Father God. When it comes to corporate prayer, the challenge can be even more significant due a number of factors, which could be expanded on in another context. We also face fervent spiritual opposition from the enemy of our souls, who is determined to prevent the quality of agreement spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 18:19: “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
Yet prayer is an amazing gift from God! He has moved heaven and earth to restore us to relationship with Himself, and longs to commune with humanity:
Now all things are of God , who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:18-19)
Sadly, some Christians have not yet ‘opened’ the incredible gift of prayer. Many others are simply not making the best use of it (if such an expression can be used in speaking of a relationship). Either in our individual lives or corporately, it can be all too easy to neglect the privilege, power and potential of prayer. When this happens we tend to fall back on our own natural resources, which inevitably leads to eventual discouragement and tiredness as we see so little fruit in all we seek to ‘do’ for God. Read some more
“Therefore I desire that that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or doubting.” (1 Timothy 2:8)
The call to prayer finds a response in many ways in the life of the Sunningdale Baptist church family, incl. private prayer, family prayer, prayer triplets and larger Hope Centre prayer gatherings. We seek God’s face for many situations near and far, as He bids us to boldly draw near to His throne of Grace.