By Brian Franks
There’s a powerful ministry available to the church! It’s one that can easily be practiced by a small child, someone nearing 100 years old, and anyone between. It’s a ministry that any Christians can do together at any time. It can be intricately planned or done on the fly. Yet, often this ministry is seen as an afterthought. Many times, it is not seen as a solution to issues. Sometimes it’s not thought of at all.
This ministry is prayer and in prayer there is much power. It is not powerful because we tell God what to do and command the Lord to do our bidding. Rather, it is powerful because we are able to come boldly before the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16). We stand in the presence of God, and that is the most important thing of all.
PRAYER MEANS WALKING WITH GOD
Prayer includes asking God for things, which is called petitions, but there are so many other elements of prayer. The most powerful of these is to have communion with God. Rather than just stating requests, having communion with God means conversation. It means being in council with God and walking with God.
Prayer embodies a relationship with God when practiced in its fullness. Like any relationship it is best when quality time is invested in it, when life is shared, and those in it walk together on a regular basis.
It should be expressly noted here that prayer is not merely an individual thing either, but rather one done with other believers and even the whole local church. Praying together is a simple action, but one imbued with power from God. Indeed, the early church is noted for its prayer time together (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 3:1; 12:5; 13:3).
PRAYER PROVIDES INTIMACY WITH GOD
Unfortunately, our lives and schedules don’t make much space for such intimacy with God. There are some legitimate demands but also squeaky wheels demanding to be oiled and never being satisfied. Truly, many idols call out to us successfully. We turn to these distractions for their promises of comfort and coping, yet they never satisfy.
By contrast, prayer is one of the methods by which we can obtain the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-8). Prayer allows us to align ourselves to God’s will. It is a discipline and a habit to be built over time. Like a tree, it must be planted, watered, pruned, and cared for. Over time, if nurtured, it grows large and strong.
If you don’t know where to start in planting your prayer life firmly or in how to lead others in developing theirs, consider Artios Christian College’s Prayer Ministry class, WOA 311.