Many times in our churches we hear the call to prayer for this or that person or problem. We learn about the importance of prayer in our lives and in our development in Christ. We learn more about conversing with God on retreats, through one another, in books on the subject, but mainly through the practice of prayer. We have likely heard the good counsel that we should be praying not only for, but with our spouses, family members, friends and co-workers.
There is no doubt that prayer literally influences men and nations in accordance with God’s promises and purposes. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a similar burden and leading for our country or another nation or group of people. Maybe it will be China, South Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, or whatever. When He does, obediently step out in faith with it, pray, fast, ask and keep on asking, and believe God’s promises.
God desires our persistence, no doubt because it demonstrates our seriousness and sincerity. In Matthew’s gospel where our Lord Jesus says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (KJV), scholars explain that the Greek words really mean to “keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking.” It does not mean a one-time, half-hearted request.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer pulls the rope down below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might.”
Prayer is an indescribable privilege. As you know, it is very difficult to speak with the mayor of your city, the governor of your state, congressmen or President. What is amazing is that you can speak with the all-powerful, all-wise and all-loving Creator, God and Savior anytime, day or night, 24 hours a day – no appointment needed!
A young Christian university student was home for the summer. She had gone to visit some friends one evening and the time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than she had planned and had to walk home alone. But she wasn’t afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away.