Summary: There is no higher honor in the ministry of God than prayer. Someone once said that prayer IS the higher work, the higher calling.
The Way: In Prayer
There is no higher honor in the ministry of God than prayer. Someone once said that prayer IS the higher work, the higher calling. In Chapter Six of Acts, the Apostles gathered together all the disciples and let them know that others needed to be brought up to take care of the basic needs of the people and their organization while the Apostles could devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.
However, in this day and time, our schedules and ministries are pushing prayer out. In the early church instead of a short prayer followed by a long sermon, it was the other way around. It was a long prayer followed by a few words. Church gatherings lasted several hours, rather than an hour or so once or twice a week. Years ago people looked forward to going and meeting with God. They held a respect, a reverence, a fear, and love for the creator of the universe. Yet, sadly, today it is much different. We don’t have the same commitment to our God that Christians did in the first century, or even the 10th century.
Our schedules preclude or prevent any ‘good prayer time.’ Our agendas prohibit any real commitment to the Father in heaven. Rather, we throw up quick heartless prayer darts and end up spending more time praying to no one in particular that our initial short prayer to God will get answered.
Let me state it one more time. Prayer is the higher work! Everything else is preparation for your prayer relationship with the Father! Whatever you are doing outside of prayer is in preparation for prayer. Don’t neglect prayer.
Do you work? That’s so you can make money to survive so that you can pray. Do you study the Bible? That’s so you can understand how to pray. Everything we do is in preparation for a personal prayer relationship with the Father in heaven.
Let’s look at from the opposite direction. Has anyone ever told you, ‘I’ll pray for you’? Or, have you ever told someone that you would pray for them and you didn’t? That is a SIN! I firmly believe that we can compare that to eating the bread and drinking the cup in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:27). If you are guilty of doing this, then that probably is the number one reason for your own prayers not being answered.
Jesus never told anyone that He would pray for them, He simply prayed for them. Shouldn’t we be of the same mold? Rather than tooting our own horn and telling people we’ll pray for them shouldn’t we just pray for them? That way, our yes will be yes and our no will be no, and we will not eat or drink judgment onto ourselves. Amen?
There is only one recorded instance in the Gospels where Jesus actually told someone He prayed for them.
(Luke 22:32) But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
All the other times or instances of prayer were when Jesus was praying to the Father or talking about prayer. What do we learn from that? Don’t just say it, PRAY IT.
Jesus was and is our intercessor, He is our prayer warrior!
II. The Message
During His time on this earth Jesus personified prayer. He was PRAYER incarnate. And, now He is at the right hand of the Father forever making intercession for you and me. He is praying for you right now. The Holy Spirit is also at work in your life making intercession for you and those things that you need, and those things that you may not know that you need.
With a supreme team like that I don’t need the world and what it has to offer! I can have anything He wants me to have! [notice the He wants me to have.]
Jesus was and continues to be a prayer warrior on behalf of you and me. The Bible gives us many vivid descriptions of how and when Jesus prayed. Jesus advocated [support, encourage] prayer to maintain constant communication with the Father in heaven.
It’s very important that you use communication in a relationship to make that relationship work! Prayer is communication with the Father in Heaven. Do you use prayer? Or, are you a mute Christian? Do you simply read the Bible and go to church without any communication on your part?
What’s your prayer ratio? Meaning, do you spend as much time praying and seeking God as He spends seeking you? Or, do you spend as much time praying and seeking God as you do watching TV? Do you spend more time praying or playing?
The Model Prayer