How important is prayer? It seems that prayer is losing its potency in our culture. Mass shootings, murder, suicide…where is God? Now, we see that even churches aren’t safe from the world’s sin. But again I ask you, how important is prayer? Before you answer, I want to ask one more question, what have you been praying for? Now, if you are full of doubt in prayer but willing to accept a truth that is painful, keep reading. However, if you don’t believe in prayer and these three points listed below then please, seek God and have Him walk you through healing…because something happened in your life that made prayer seem impossible or powerless and until you believe in it again, you won’t be able to study it with an open mind. My three points are, what I believe to be truths, supported biblically and demonstrated in my life, they are as follows:
- God works through us
- Prayer releases power
- We carry power and authority
So what do you pray for? What do you pray for as a church? I know for me, I pray mostly about those in my life, situations that are close to me and are on my heart. I might pray a quick prayer for the rest of the world and pray a little longer when I hear something on the news that is troubling or disastrous. As a church, we pray for members of the body who are sick or need a breakthrough. We pray for the surrounding community and for the lost. But rarely have I heard this prayer, “Lord, protect our church from the lies of the enemy, from any form of harm he intends to send against us, God, if anyone intends harm towards us, I declare that their hearts be transformed and their eyes opened to the truth and the great love of Jesus, amen.”
Most prayers sound quite different, we pray for the lost that they would come through our doors, we ask God for a servants heart, we pray for specific members of the body that they would be restored and delivered from evil only after something manifests itself in their lives visibly. I have seen churches completely consumed with self-righteousness that they don’t feel the need for protection, and churches so set on servanthood that they neglect the health and safety of the body, leaving no one fit to protect the gate from the wolves.
My uncle used to have a large yard. He would mow it as my aunt would tend to the garden. Every day he would sit on his deck and survey his land for unwelcome guests. It wouldn’t be long before he would spot a groundhog waddling towards his garden, digging and eating all the while. My uncle would instantly take action, he would grab his rifle and put the creature out of commission. My uncle killed a lot of vermin in his life, and his garden and yard remained peaceful and safe whilst he was there.
Who protects the church from satan’s tricks? Who has discernment in your church to alert the body to danger? Who carries the rifle, and makes the tough decisions regarding the safety of the flock? Who, deals with the wolves?
Oh, how important prayer is…how often do I blame God for something in my life…and then see the truth, I didn’t pray for those things! How can God bless me and answer a prayer that I never uttered? And if I did speak of it, did I really ask? Did I contend for it? Did I believe in it? As Christians, we have become so desensitized to the violence of the world, so used to satan triumphing that we have forgotten who we are! We pray with a sense of hopelessness, a begging for change, forgetting that we might just be the answer to our prayers! God wants to use us to change the world, He has given us the Holy Spirit and the authority to take back this fallen place. But we can’t do that until we remember who we are again. We need to wake up and put a foot down. We need to pray with authority, believing that our words have power and speak into things before they happen. Pray for your church! Bind up evil spirits before they set foot upon your stair. Speak life over the country, don’t speak curses! Don’t aide in the world’s destruction, but in its renewal. Prayer is important, but I dare take it farther…it is VITAL!
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
–2 Chronicles 7:14