As far back as I can remember I have attended church. As a young boy, I have fond memories of Mrs. Mahel’s Sunday School class. She was so skillful in her use of flannel graphs. (Man does that date me!) Revivals, Camp meetings, the Annual Church picnic, and the variety of pastors who served the church were all part of my religious upbringing.
But THE thing that stands out to me was the emphasis on prayer. It was a “custom” in our church that upon entering the sanctuary, you went straight to your pew, knelt down and prayed. As I grew up, I came to understand that this practice was not an empty ritual but rather a sincere effort to prepare our minds and hearts for worship. Every revival was preceded by weeks of prayer. Every night before the revival service, the men gathered in one room and the women gathered in another room for prayer. (I never understood the reason behind this practice.) Every Friday from 12-1 pm was set aside for prayer and fasting.
If you read your Bible on a regular basis, you will find prayer is repeatedly mentioned. Some of the greatest prayers recorded are found in Scripture.The Christian Church was founded by prayer. Acts 1:14 Acts 2:42
But prayer in the church has fallen on bad times. Oh, we have not totally forgotten her but we have relegated prayer to a lesser place in the church.
- Wednesday evening services were entitled “Prayer Meeting” but today, we kind of add prayer on at the end of the service.
- Jesus said ““It is written, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer…” Ask yourself. how much emphasis does my church place on prayer?
Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. — Oswald Chambers