By Sammy Bozeman
In days gone by people prayed very much for the answer to their problems. The answer came. They prayed at home, church, in the woods, wherever they felt the need and the urgency to do so. They lived by prayer; it was part of their life.
Jesus prayed. He started everyday in prayer. His life was made up of prayer. He prayed for people, cities, country, government and the world. He prayed more personal also. He prayed for people to be saved, healed, delivered, set free, and for them to have a course of direction. When He prayed the answer always came.
Today it seems people do not pray like they use to. It seems people have lost the “commitment to pray.” Where is the commitment to a prayer room, time in a closet, or alone in meditation with God?
We are living in a fast pace world. Everything is in a rush, busy working two jobs, just trying to keep up and making ends meet. We can be committed to jobs, family, money, sports, etc. and not be committed to prayer. It is not the length of our prayers, but the commitment to prayer.
I also feel we have lost the “value of prayer”. There is still value that can be seen and some that is unseen in prayer. God can see the value in something quicker and better than what I can see. God is divine. He sees the unseen. This is why I must pray to the unseen God then He can take the unseen problem and develop it into reality.
If the church could become committed to prayer and realize the value in it, I wonder what would really happen. We have the knowledge of the word, good talent, capable leaders, outreach programs, and many things that can benefit a church. We must have all of this and more in this day of church advancement and church growth. I feel the most imperative thing that is needed and we are not doing enough of it is p – r – a – y – e – r and praying.
When we pray we have to battle Hell. In prayer we battle the devil, spirits, torments, mental pressure of keeping the mind focused, and the flesh. If we ever quit battling these things, it means that they have already got us. Keep up the fight; declare war. We will not give up but will contend with the war. At the end of the Apostle Paul’s life, he said in I Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, and I have finished the course.” It was a fight unto the end. He did not say he kept the course and finished the faith. I’m sure there were times he wandered off course but during this time he kept the faith. Prayer was what helped him with the fight, faith, and the course. Prayer will keep you unto the end.
We must season ourselves with prayer. Once I was ministering at a certain place when a preacher said to me, “Bro. Bozeman, your delivery is good, the layout of the messages is great, you are even timely, but all of this is not seasoned enough with prayer.” He built me up so high only to pop my bubble. I felt low, depressed, and wondering how a man can know all of this. I took what the man said, grew, developed, and learned from it. Today I look back and say, “Thanks.”
First, we must season our life in prayer, our rising up in the morning and the lying down at night. The day long of service must continually be made up of prayer. If prayer is in our life, our example and spirit will portray a good picture. Our countenance will portray the image of Christ.
Our ministry must be seasoned with prayer. It will be for the anointing to be upon us when we deliver the Word and in handling our daily affairs. We do not need to operate by our longevity, age, experience, and even knowledge. We need prayer in our ministry. Things will click smoother and run better when prayer is there.
God blessed us with talents. Our talents are many, and we need them anointed. We do not need to go through the emotions without the anointing. Our talents of singing, preaching, writing, working in various areas, and many more are all great and important. All I can say is let’s put the anointing (seasoning) with them.
Our programs must be seasoned with prayer within our church. We must first pray that we have the right programs. Then we must pray that they will go over and be effective. Our church needs prayer in every program and in every service. In every part of the service, let it be seasoned with prayer.
The experience that we have with God must be seasoned every day with prayer. We can go through the day without prayer if we are not careful. You got that experience with prayer and you will keep it by prayer. In these times of pressure, stress, and always on the go, we run out of time to pray. We must realize there will be a breakdown in our experience if we do not pray. Let us get back to seasoning that experience with prayer and keeping it fresh on a day-to-day basis.
If we open ourselves to love, we will open ourselves to hurt, when we open ourselves to hurt, we must open ourselves to prayer. When we open ourselves up to God, we must realize what we are asking for. It is then God can begin to work on us. Sometimes there will be pain, suffering, and etc. but it is only for our benefit. God still loves us and that is why we must continue to pray to Him.
I should go to bed with Christ as the last thoughts upon my mind; I should arise in the morning with Christ as the first thoughts upon my mind. Then all through the day Christ should be in the back of my mind at all times. He should not be far from the presence of mind at any given time. This comes as a dedicated life in prayer. Prayer at the night —time, prayer in the morning — time, and prayer during the day — time. In I Thessalonians 5:17 it says, “pray without ceasing.” This simply means to entertain a thought continually. Prayer should be ever-present and we should be able to kick it into gear instantly.
Struggles in prayer are something we all can relate to. Jacob wrestled with an angel until the break of day. The answer, he knew was on the way. Life is made up of struggles. The resistance we have is what develops us. Anybody can hold the helm of a ship when the sea is calm but the resistance of the sea makes a real true sailor out of him. These struggles I’m in will only help develop and make me what I am supposed to be.
If we will pray, we will succeed and achieve. The fruits of the spirit come to us when we pray. Without prayer our minds will wander into the trap of the enemy. Prayer revives, restores, removes and reconciles.
Prayer can stand-alone. It seeks no applause; it never struts; it defines explanation; it weakens the strong; it strengthens the weak; it takes the burn from the fire, and in humble prayer we touch our Master and receive His instruction. In prayer we learn of God’s absolute power and sovereignty.
This article “If My People Would Pray” was excerpted from the book The Break Down of Prayer by Sammy Bozeman. It may be used for study & research purposes only.