You’ve probably seen a billboard announcing, “Stop visiting church and be the church!” If you haven’t you have surely heard the statement before in some form or fashion. While I do not like cliche’s, this one is valid and says a lot in just a few words. It makes me think about James 1:22, where we are told to not be hearers of the word, but doers also unless we deceive ourselves. I’ve also found that when people have stated “be the church”, they have often suggested or pointed to dated 1950′s era examples of what women should wear, and how boys should behave etc. There’s some that would point to the book of Acts, and site the First Century church as the model for all ages, leaving us to sell all we have and give to our church. Frankly, neither of those fit the bill, we live in the year 2012 and we’re not persecuted.
Following is the one thing that as God’s church we should be doing, its not the only thing, but the first and the one we should never neglect. This is something distinct only for people who are God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ, it transcends time and generations.
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1)
Nothing distinguishes the children of God so clearly and strongly as prayer. E. M Bounds
The richest revelations of God-Father, Son and Spirit- are made, not to the learned by the great or “noble” of Earth, but by people of prayer. E. M Bounds
In being the Church we should pray! Jesus not only gave a parable that we should always pray and faint not, but He gave an example by the life He lived that prayer was important and vital. The disciples when they were told to go to Jerusalem and wait, immediately interpreted that as go and pray, and they were all found, one hundred and twenty of them, praying in the upper room. The Apostle Paul prayed frequently and was always praying for the saints, and he exhorted everyone in his letters to pray and even stated in one letter to pray without ceasing.
Prayer is a special and vital time of communication for God and His people, its a time where we are changed, strengthened, and where we can receive the direction we need for advancing His kingdom and living life for Him.
Prayer is a spiritual event, its not carnal and those that are carnal will look for other things to do. However, for those who want to worship God in Spirit and truth, prayer will prove to be a key ingredient to their worship.
Prayer requires our time and focus. Its both a discipline and a duty, a requirement and an honor.
The prayers that produce results, are persistent, consistent and in line with the mind and thinking of God.
It (prayer) is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christian people are prayerful. The worldly minded are prayer-less. Christians call on God. The worldly ignore God and do not call on His name. But even Christians need to cultivate continual prayer. Prayer must be habitual, but much more than a habit. E.M Bounds
All people can do good, every person on Earth can excel in business and sports, but not all can pray and all will not pray. As God’s people it is for us to take advantage of the honor we have to pray, the honor we have to be in His presence to ask and to receive, to know Him more and to be conformed into His image.
It is my prayer that your prayer life will be bolstered, that you will be strengthened, that you will know God’s will for your life, and that every promise of God will be manifested in your life.
Filed in: Spiritual Disciplines