Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:14
But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19
Read all those again. Is it becoming clear to you? We who are in Christ have a directive. A command. A purpose.
I have seen many Churches in this town in which we live claiming to be seeking God's direction. Looking for a vision to guide the church.
Yet, as incredibly as I have found it, the very thing that should be at the core of their being as a Christ follower isn't prayer!
Why would prayer be such a burden to a church? Well, in simplist terms, you really WILL get more out of it than you put into it, if you begin to be honest with yourself and God.
As incredibly as it sounds people get annoyed with others when they have many prayer requests. Or if it's been a similar request repeated over a short time span. Such as employment.
Read those passages again.
Prayer is the only beginning point if you are wanting a Church to find purpose and direction. Not that of any one man, but from all those united in prayer.
The people in the beginning of the book of Acts. They devoted themselves to prayer. Look what happened.
So many preachers want revival and present the concept like microwave popcorn! If we want results leave it in for 5 minutes and there you go!
If Jesus required time with His Father, where do any get off thinking that they don't need to talk often to Him?
Read the letters to the Church's in Revelation. They may not have been praying but Jesus knew what their issues were.
Prayer should be like breathing. What else does the Bible say?
Ephesians 5:1 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
Ephesians 5:17-21 "So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ"
What had changed me, transformed me, what has made me what I am in Christ had come only through my prayers and the prayers of others.
If a church is at a crossroads, not knowing where to go next. Then it's time to gather together and increase the prayer time.
If we indeed walk by faith and not by sight, it only happens in prayer!
Prayer goes where we cannot. Prayer takes us directly to the Throne of God.
Jesus told His Disciples about Spiritual Warfare, of how some demons only come out by prayer and fasting.
When the center of a church isn't prayer, then you should wonder what is.
Prayer is where the rubber meets the road. Where the heart is examined and what is in there is revealed. Prayer shows where our real concerns are. It reveals who we really are inside.
The only man who has THE vision for the Church is Jesus Christ. No church on this planet will know revival until the people return to prayer as God intended.
In prayer there are no pretenses. No egos. Nothing but the truth of the heart before a Holy God.
It is also the sharing of concerns, of dreams, of what is a burden to each of us.
Jesus not only is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but He is also our brother. He is our best friend. Our Savior. Scripture says He is the lover of our souls.
He isn't in your heart and mind as a renter.
He came into you as so much more.
So if a change in your life is needed. Pray.
If there's talk of needing a revival. Pray.
If there no talk of praying. Pray.
If you are breathing. Pray.
You will see your priorities changed. You will see great and mighty things when prayer happens. Jesus said we would do greater things than He after He went back to Heaven.
How does it happen? Prayer.
Only through prayer.