If we are going to embrace THE Cause as the driving force of our ministries then the first order of business we have is prayer. It is the primary means by which we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and truly depend on God. I love how Martin Luther highlighted the importance of prayer in his life: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” Knowing that we are in a spiritual war for the souls of our lost friends, how can we spend any less time in prayer ourselves?
To get a handle on how powerful prayer is I have to continually remind myself as to whom I am praying and who I am in relationship to Him. We’re not talking about a genie in a bottle whose sole purpose is to grant my every wish (although when you look at the types of prayers I pray you might think that were the case). We’re talking about the God of the universe, Creator of all things, the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is no slouch or some part time god (1 Kings 18:27). This is God!
There is power in His words, let alone His actions. This is who I (yes, little old insignificant, here today and gone tomorrow, me) get to pray to whenever I want or need to. He brought me into existence and when He desires to He’ll remove me from this earth. He is sovereign and I am finite. Yet in His way of doing things He has given believers access to Him in His throne room via prayer. The reality is I should be so dependent on my God that I dare not get out of bed in the morning and walk to the bathroom without asking for His help. I should seek his permission in taking my next breath. Why? Because when He chooses He’ll take thoes abilities away. This is the God to whom I pray.
Then, as I read through the Gospels I can’t help but notice that Jesus (God) prayed all the time. If Jesus, the Son of God, saw fit to prayer regularly (as found in Mark 1:35-37) and even taught His disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:19-23) then I should probably make prayer a priority too. Even on the eve of His own crucifixion He saw fit to pray for us as future believers and the impact we would make on the world by living THE Cause (John 17:20-23). If Jesus modeled and taught prayer as a priority then shouldn’t it be a priority for us that much more?
The results of prayer are amazing:
- The lost will be reached
“Brothers, my heart’s desire adn prayer to God for the Israelitess is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1
- The Christians will be emboldened
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20
- THE Cause will be accelerated
“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
I hope that after considering the importance of prayer, Who we’re praying to, the priority that Jesus placed on it, and the results that come from it that we are all compelled to pray for the lost whom we can reach with the Gospel.
Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray. – Samuel Chadwick
- pray for the teens in your ministry by name
- recruit adult prayer warriors to pray for you and your ministry daily, weekly, monthy
- challenge teens in your ministry to meet 30 minutes before youth group to pray for the group
- spend an hour a day in prayer OR do like Luther did and spend 3 hours a day in prayer
- pray during youth group because it’s important, not because it fills gaps in your program
What are some ways you incorporate prayer into your life and into your ministry?