Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. What defines us as Christians? And why is it that some Christians have more success and victories in life than others?
One of the reasons is prayer; or the lack of prayer that Christians have in their lives.
I kid you not, I pray about 2 hours a day; I mean like on my knees, or sitting, or lying down and just praying. Maybe I might be driving and praying, especially praying in tongues, I like to do that while I drive.
I look at my life and think to myself: God has been very good to me? Why is that?
Do you think that if 2 people became Christians on the same day in 1970, and one of them pray one hour a day, and the other one only prayed like 5 minutes a week, do you think one would be blessed more than the other?
“one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray”
Yes this is what the disciples or followers of Jesus are seeking; they are seeking to know how to pray. So if your life is in the pits, if you are not getting what you want, if there is some deep need in your life, then I would encourage you to pray.
Prayer changes things. Prayer changes other people. Prayer brings money into your life. Prayer can get you a job, a house, healing, a wife or husband, peace and joy or whatever else it is you are seeking.
It is difficult to find Christians, at least for me, who like to pray. Do you like to pray? Do you go to “prayer meetings”; you know, meetings with other Christians where you just pray?
This is what the early Christians did: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”
And this is what else they did: “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.”
And for those early Christians who would be the Pastors and leaders of the Church, this is what they had to say: “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program.3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
Well. That’s what I would like to do. So even though I may spend more time in prayer than most Christians I know they are not a very good group to compare myself to because they hardly prayer. I need to rather compare myself to Paul, and Peter and James. Then I can get a better handle on how much it is that I need to pray.
So. Yes what can we do as a group of believers to follow the Lord? We can spend more time in prayer. I am trying to set aside at least an hour or two a day to pray for other and to pray in tongues; because the Bible says: “I wish you could all speak in tongues.”
Paul also said: “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.”
I love Mark 11 where Jesus talks about prayer: “Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 25But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.f”
It would be much better for the church and for all of us if we prayed for each other. We would be much better off as individuals and families if we prayed specifically for each of the needs we as families have.
So I encourage you and hope that I too can continue to discipline myself and increase the amount the quality, disciplined time I can devote to prayer: because praying to God is one reason, one major reason, why some Christians are more blessed by God than others are.