By Dan L. Cox
The words of the old hymn ring true:
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry,
Everything to God in prayer.
God has chosen prayer as His channel of blessing. God has given us every kind of wisdom, grace, and strength because He knows exactly what we need. The catch is, the only way can get it is to pray.
Lyle Wesley Dorsett’s book E. M.
Bonds, Man of Prayer (Grand Rapids:
Zondervan, 1991), p. 134 wrote, “Prayer ought to enter into the spiritual habits, but it ceases to be prayer when it is carried on by habit only … Desire gives fervor to prayer. The soul cannot be listless when some great desire fixes and inflames it … Strong desires make strong prayers … The neglect of prayer is the fearful token of dead spiritual desires. The soul has turned away from God when desire after Him no longer presses it into the closet. There can be no true praying without desire.”
If the times are as bad as we say they are, if the darkness in our world is growing thicker every day, and if we are facing spiritual battles right in our own homes and churches, then we are foolish not to turn to the One who supplies unlimited grace and power. We need to take it to the Lord in prayer.
The Bible does not say that my house shall be called a house of preaching? Does it call God’s house a house of music? No! The Bible does say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” I believe that we can have all the music, great preaching, but they must never override prayer as the defining mark of God’s dwelling. The truth of the matter is that God will do more with people’s lives when they pray, then after listening to a hundred sermons.
The New Testament church was launched in an upper room while people were praying. Tn Acts, Chapter two, the disciples were waiting on the promise. Prayer and communing with God set the stage for the birth of His Spirit into their spirits. What does it say about our churches today that God would like to birth into our spirit’s through a prayer meeting? How can we expect God to be present in our pray meeting if we ourselves are absent from them?
What keeps people from prayer? Many people have little heart for prayer because they have never spent enough time in fellowship with God, with His Word, and in seeking His will in prayer to ever get used to it. They are strangers to spiritual things, and that’s why prayer is so tough for them.
Our God has boundless resources. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking our praying is too small. Our expectations are too limited.
We need to make the year 2007 the year of prayer. Every born-again child of God must carry the mighty Word of God in their heart and on their lips as a prayer.
Men of God whose prayers are recorded for us in the Bible never read a book about prayer, never went to a seminar on prayer, never heard a sermon on prayer. They just prayed! I know of men of God that made an impact on my life through hearing them pray, men who knew how to bring the anointed power of God down on the church through their praying. I used to get close to my first pastor (Hugh Frank Goble) as he would always kneel at the altar and pray before church service started, I would listen as he would ask God’s help, to take anything out of his heart that was not pleasing to Him. It has been forty-one years since I came along side that great man of God, but the words that he prayed has never left me.
A revival can break out without inspiring music, without comfortable buildings, without eloquent preaching, but never without prayer. Keep on praying when the skies are gray, in God’s presence clouds, will break away; keep on praying till the sun shines through, keep on praying, God will answer you.
Rev. Dan L. Cox is the Pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Warsaw, Indiana, Presbyter of Section One, and Editor of the Indiana Apostolic Trumpet.
Indiana Apostolic Trumpet / January 2007 19