How much should we pray? Seriously. The Bible tells us “Pray without ceasing!”, “Devote yourselves to prayer!”,” Pray diligently!” and “Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time!” That’s a lot of prayer, don’t you think? How much should we pray?
Leonard Ravenhill has said “To be much for God, we must be much with God. Jesus, that lone figure in the wilderness, knew strong crying, along with tears. Can one be moved with compassion and not know tears? Jeremiah was a sobbing saint. Jesus wept! So did Paul. So did John…Though there are some tearful intercessors behind the scenes, I grant you that to our modern Christianity, praying is foreign.”
Such an awful thought: Christians to whom praying is foreign or Christians that, at least, neglect prayer. And prayer should be the most natural thing for us. Like Ole Kristian Hallesby has pointed out: “To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting Him to exercise His own power in dealing with them.” Living in prayer is to be continually connected to God. We might get this much. We think prayer is a gift. We pray for our own concerns and for our friends and family. But should we pray more? Should we pray larger prayers beyond our own world?
“Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened. (Matthew 7: 7-8, CEB)
Watchman Nee described praying as laying the track down on which God’s power can come. “Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.” If that is so….shouldn’t we live our lives on knees? At least, figuratively speaking?
When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each held a harp and gold bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:8, CEB)
Samuel Chadwick states “There is no power like that of prevailing prayer – of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heart-broken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat and blood. Add to this list from the records of the church your personal observation and experience, and always there is cost of passion unto blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God.”
If prayer brings God…shouldn’t we pray without ceasing? Shouldn’t we pray for the whole world and not just for our own needs? What if nothing happens because we don’t pray? Are we hold responsible for not praying? Lord, have mercy!
We do live in this tension between Sovereign God and Prayer-hearing God. The first attribute of God here is to make sure that we know that God is God and we are not. Hence we can’t manipulate God with our prayers. The second characteristic of God here is to show us that God is not distant, we are in partnership and relationship with God Almighty. God is waiting to hear our prayers, to respond, to help.
So. How much should we pray? The more the better! There can never be too much of prayer. So today I challenge you to increase your prayers. Ask God to show you how.
Every prayer counts.
Every prayer brings us closer to God!
Every prayer changes the world!
What are we waiting for? Let us pray! God is listening!
Thank you for the gift of prayer.
Forgive us for neglecting prayer.
Show us how to increase our prayers.
Show us the power of prayer!
Send the Holy Spirit to pray in us!
Guide us to pray according to your will.
Empower us to pray without ceasing.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What do you think? How much should we pray?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you increase your prayers according to God’s will!
Remember the Weekend Prayer Wall right here at Flowing Faith! Let’s increase our prayers! You can participate by praying/leaving prayer requests in the comment section or linking up your prayer post. (Grab the code from the sidebar. Link will be open Sat-Sun)
Do you want to win a copy of the Common English Bible softcover edition? Just leave a comment on any blog post this week (or any week during the blog tour). The winner will be announced on (every) Monday!
All these CEB give aways are possible because I am participating in the Common English Bible Blog tour. During the next three months I will mostly be using the Common English Bible (CEB) on my blog posts. Let’s check out this fresh new Bible translation!
You can also find CEB on Twitter as @CommonEngBible and check out #CEBtour for other blog tour posts!