The Lost Art Of The Apostolic Christian

By Elder Keith Abernathy

Text: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints:”

–Ephesians 6:18

In times past, prayer was the foremost desire and duty of a Christian, but today it is merely a passing moment at the table or a five-minute session to ease the conscience. It is hard to find the old-fashioned prayer life of the prayer warriors that in the past was common among saints.

How long has it been since your child came home from school to find you in prayer on your knees with tears flowing down because your heart was burdened for God to move in your church and life? How long has it been since your child has heard you call their name to God in prayer?

Today is a day of comfort; for the most part, we now find ourselves in the Laodicean attitude-I have all I need! We have pacified ourselves with things of the world so long we do not know what it feels like to be satisfied in our troubled minds. We brush off sleepless nights as not resting well, instead of maybe God wants me to pray; we have sleep aids so that we can sleep off the call to prayer in the wee hours of the night; we have reamed the methods of disregard. Prayer has no value to many Christians today because they have not had a prayer life for so long that they feel comfortable without one.

Colossians 4:2 ‘Continue in prayer, Watch in the same with thanksgiving…

The day has come when many modem Apostolics do not know what prayer is about or what it is for; it’s something that we know to do we are always going to pray tomorrow. It is sad when saints cannot pray thirty minutes a day. What’s worse is we have saints in our churches that have not prayed for one hour straight in years.

James 5:16 “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Let us look at the word effectual (American Heritage dictionary ‘Sufficient to produce a desired effect; Fully adequate.”

I wonder if our prayers are fully adequate?–or if we have sufficient desire to produce what we need? Prayer is the foremost ingredient in a Christian life. We must realize we are in the spiritual condition we’re in, whether it be good or bad, because of our prayer life. Prayer has become a lost art in many Christians’ lives. Why? Because it removes the comfort zone of life that we have become accustomed to, and in times of trouble we have no idea where to turn because we are not accustomed to the old-fashioned alter of prayer that once was the citadel of hope. We often wonder, ‘Why can’t I have more faith?” It’s because of a lack of prayer. Jude 1:20 “But ye, Beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy 0th, praying in the Holy Ghost.”

In Matthew, the sixth chapter Jesus begins to teach us about prayer. Many refer to verses 9-13 as the Lord’s Prayer; in reality, He is teaching us how to pray. Let us notice how he told us to pray.

Matthew 6:9-13

After this manner therefore pray ye;
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For shine is the kingdom, the power, and glory, forever. Amen

First, we are to Hallow the name (hallow the name is to make it “Holy”, to respect or honor greatly.) When in prayer, we are to make Holy the name of our great God–JESUS CHRIST. First, when we go to Prayer we must gain entrance to the throne by hallowing His name, because Jesus said after this manner pray ye. I have oft times wondered if many of our prayers go unanswered because our manner of prayer was wrong So many times we just irreverently go before God in prayer and tell what we need without making “Holy” His Name first.

Second, we are to ask for His kingdom and His will to be done in us (earthen vessels). How many times as troubled souls have we gone straight into prayer asking for our will first, or without even giving thought to whether or not what we are asking for was according to the kingdom or the will of God? We have a distinct pattern to follow. I am convinced that if we follow the blueprint we will get the desired results. God’s word does not and cannot lie.

Third, we bring our petition and situation to Him, asking for His help and for divine intervention on our part.

Fourth, we must seek forgiveness of our wrongdoings and sins, as we forgive others.

Fifth we are to ask for His divine guidance and leadership, and then give it all back to God. This is the most difficult thing to do–leaving it in the hands of Jesus. Because we as mortals like to be in control. Remember one thing He is greater than all the universe, for he created it. The sun does not worry whether or not it is going to rise or set; it only does what it is commanded to do. So ought we to put our trust in God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Eph. 3:20)

–Elder Keith Abernathy, Pastor

Calvary Pentecostal Church
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Taken from the January 1996 issue of The True Light.