Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Friday, January 27, 2012

A CALL TO PRAYER !


“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use -- men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men -- men of prayer.

Those are the words  of E.M. Bounds  (1835-1913). He was a pastor   around the time of the American Civil War , and his writings  on prayer remain  a great  challenge to  me . His words  remain relevant in an age where relatively  few  people  can  see their way  clear  to spend more time in prayer , let alone be a part of a corporate  prayer meeting of the Church .  God has commanded  prayer   to be  one of the chief disciplines  of the Christian church . It therefore ought not only to be the  habitual practice of every Christian , but  there should be evidence that the church engages in corporate prayer .  Absence of prayer  means an absence of confidence in  God , since  the simplest definition  of  prayer is  “speaking to God “. How can we not speak to our heavenly Father?

The apostolic method   used to sustain the life ,  health and progress  of the church  was by    prayer  and the ministry  of  the word  (Acts 6:1-7) , and we have  no  reason to change  these priorities in our day.

I write this as our church is  about to  embark  upon   a prayer week which we commonly have at the beginning of  each  year.   Prayer reminds us that  “our help is in the name of the Lord who has made  heaven and earth.” (Psalm 12:8)
Our church   had also  decided  a few years ago  that    we should  have  also   have a week of prayer  in the middle of the year, when our spirits  seem  to  be sagging.

We   are convinced  from  the Scripture that the church is  among other things  a  house of prayer. Our worship services ought to be punctuated with  all kinds  of  prayer , whether they be prayers of praise , confession, thanksgiving  or intercession.To pray is to worship.

In our evening services we pray for different countries of the world.  “Operation World”   helps  us to pray  for the progress of the gospel  in  every country of the world. A useful internet  link to help you  to do  this  is:  http://www.operationworld.org  . Another helpful  resource for world prayer  is  found at   http://www.gracechurchdirectory.com/world/index.htm



In many churches prayer sadly  no longer constitutes an act of worship. Surely,  if there'd   be  a  solid  argument  for what elements    should  constitute   regulative principles of  worship , then prayer must be a part of  that, and regular prayer meetings  of the  whole church  should be a given  fact and not an antiquated  and curious habit  of history  ! 



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