Dear fellow preacher,
How you ever noticed how poorly our churches tend to measure up when it comes to prayer, as compared to the churches in the New Testament?
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers. (Colossians 4:12)
Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. (1 Timothy 5:5)
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)
These days, it almost seems that prayer is a lost profession, and the Prayer Warrior is not to be found. Do you have a Prayer Warrior (or two) in your church who loves to stay on their knees, interceding at the Throne of Grace for the pastor and the church and the saints and lost souls? If you do, then you are indeed blessed!
But most of our churches lack good Prayer Warriors. That’s not to say that we are not all praying, in fact, all Christians pray, at least somewhat. But of how many can it be said that they have “effectual fervent prayers”? Even a casual study of the Bible reveals that God loves to answer prayer.
And don’t you find it interesting that Jesus’ disciples never asked Him to teach them how to ‘preach’ or how to ‘win lost souls’, or even how to ‘study the Bible’? But they did ask Him to teach them how to ‘pray’. Maybe you’ve heard it said that, “Our Christian lives will never rise higher than our Prayer lives”. If that is true, then honestly, how are your church people doing? Could they do better? A really good Prayer Closet will change their lives!
So, why don’t you teach them HOW to get up early and meet with God in the Prayer Closet? Teach them HOW to spend an hour with God before they leave the house. Teach them HOW to get some wonderful Bible-food for their souls, and answers to prayer, as they faithfully meet with God each morning.
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4)
The Apostles had it RIGHT when they gave themselves to Prayer and the Word, and just read Acts to see how successful they were in their ministries! I must confess that, for 40 years, I never really clued into the great power and pleasure of the early morning Prayer Closet, until January 2016. That’s when my whole life and ministry changed as I cried out to Jesus, “Lord, teach me to pray!”
The Prayer Closet is the most AMAZING thing, as God meets with us daily, giving us encouragement, and creative ideas, and sermons to preach, and insight to help counsel certain ones in our churches, and more! After doing the math, it occurs to me that, over the last 3 ½ years, I’ve spent about 2,000 hours alone with God in the Prayer Closet, and I’ve learned a thousand times more about Prayer than I ever did in the 40 years before that. But Prayer is as deep as God Himself, and no one can ever learn it all.
I’d like to suggest you get a copy of EM Bound’s book, ‘Preacher and Prayer’ (www.revivallit.org), and devour it! This little book is like “one beggar showing another beggar where to find the bread”. (And there’s MORE bread than any of us can consume!)
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray… (Luke 11:1)
Stay in the game!
Your brother in Christ,
Steven J. White
I’d like to invite any Independent Baptist preacher (pastor, missionary, evangelist, or retired) to offer helpful advice, experiences and thoughts that will encourage others in the ministry. I want others to hear what you have to say. If this is of interest to you, please email me your thoughts or suggestions. None of us will get ‘paid’ for any of this, but all of us will get ‘sharpened’.