JESUS CHRIST said: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” or in another translation, “Pray all the time and don’t quit.” (Luke 18:1) and Paul said this: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17)
“How long are you going to continue this praying thing?” That is the question someone just asked me. Wow…how do I answer that? My life is very much a developing life of prayer. I take these verses literally and so I have purposed in my heart to try to figure how to live this life on earth while also living a life of prayer. To me ending my prayer life would kill the person that I am as much as someone killing me physically. I am not ashamed of my life of prayer but I really don’t discuss my daily schedule unless I am asked. Most don’t understand this life and many are frankly offended by it. The longer I pray and the more I pray the smaller my circle gets. Maybe some don’t understand my heart or maybe they don’t understand theirs. The flesh part of me would like nothing more than to be accepted and understood and liked by people. The part of me that was forgiven of so much and changed so radically and quickly by such a merciful God can never ignore nor do I want to ignore the debt paid for me. I feel nothing but absolute total love to the one that set me free. God changed me and showed me through His Word that I was to know Him in ways that I had never considered.
I asked for it all…this change. I said I would give Him whatever He wanted. He asked me into a life of prayer. Nothing has changed me more or continues to change and then sustain me than knowing my Lord the way that I do through prayer and the Word…they go hand in hand for me. It is glaring to me in these days as I watch and as I study, how little we all pray…even me. I am nowhere near the “without ceasing.” I have heard some try to explain and justify my actions as a calling. Was I “called” to this life? No. I may be assigned to certain ministries but I believe we are all to pray and so there is no waiting to be called for prayer any more than I would be called to something like obedience. Both are expected of me and demanded of me… but in the end I do it because I love God. I love Him. When I said whatever I did mean it. Love gives whatever is needed and to me it is so obvious that what God needs most is PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER.
There is this great saying: “Find out what God most wants done and do it!” Sounds simple.
You want to see the world evangelized? So does Jesus. In fact Luke 10:2 says: Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
I have heard sermons on that verse saying GO and I have to tell you most everything in me wants to GO. But I want my definition of go, my will. Jesus didn’t say go, He said PRAY. If you GO, only ONE of you will go. What will that do to a huge harvest? But if you PRAY, hundreds can go. PRAYER ENABLES GOD TO CALL AND EQUIP AND SEND WORKERS INTO HIS HARVEST FIELD. I have found myself saying… but God, I want to win souls in Africa! And God says, “Do you know their language?” I say no and He says, “Do you know their customs?” I say no and He says “You pray and I will send someone who already knows the language and the customs.” His Will be done…not mine. So I pray. Does that mean I don’t take care of a need in front of me? Witness to the person across the street? Go into the mission field of my own town? Get outside the prayer room? Absolutely not, but in addition to a life of prayer, not as a substitute for. You want to see the world evangelized? Prayer may be the greatest act of evangelism.
Why are the harvest fields unreaped? I believe it is not because we didn’t GO, but because we didn’t PRAY. I pray because God loves me; I pray because I love God. And you know what? When you think about it, I pray because God loves you. Oh, and I don’t intend to ever stop.